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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1987 October; 53(10): 2420–2425.
PMCID: PMC204123

Genetic engineering of ethanol production in Escherichia coli.


The genes encoding essential enzymes of the fermentative pathway for ethanol production in Zymomonas mobilis, an obligately ethanologenic bacterium, were inserted into Escherichia coli under the control of a common promoter. Alcohol dehydrogenase II and pyruvate decarboxylase from Z. mobilis were expressed at high levels in E. coli, resulting in increased cell growth and the production of ethanol as the principal fermentation product from glucose. These results demonstrate that it is possible to change the fermentation products of an organism, such as E. coli, by the addition of genes encoding appropriate enzymes which form an alternative system for the regeneration of NAD+.

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