Heterologous expression of geraniol dehydrogenase for identifying the metabolic pathways involved in the biotransformation of citral by Acinetobacter sp. Tol 5

The biotransformation of citral, an industrially important monoterpenoid, has been extensively studied using many microbial biocatalysts. However, the metabolic pathways involved in its biotransformation are still unclear, because citral is a mixture of the trans-isomer geranial and the cis-isomer neral. Here, we applied the heterologous expression of geoA, a gene encoding geraniol dehydrogenase that specifically converts geraniol to geranial and nerol to neral, to identify the metabolic pathways involved in the biotransformation of citral. Acinetobacter sp. Tol 5 was employed in order to demonstrate the utility of this methodology. Tol 5 transformed citral to (1R,3R,4R)-1-methyl-4-(1-methylethenyl)-1,3-cyclohexanediol and geranic acid. Biotransformation of citral precursors (geraniol and nerol) by Tol 5 transformant cells expressing geoA revealed that these compounds were transformed specifically from geranial. Our methodology is expected to facilitate a better understanding of the metabolic pathways involved in the biotransformation of substrates that are unstable and include geometric isomers.

Heterologous expression of geoA was applied to identify the metabolic pathways involved in the biotransformation of citral by Acinetobacter sp. Tol 5.