Engineering of Multiple Modules to Improve Amorphadiene Production in Bacillus subtilis Using CRISPR-Cas9

Yafeng Song, Siqi He, Ingy I Abdallah, Anita Jopkiewicz, Rita Setroikromo, Ronald van Merkerk, Pieter G Tepper, Wim J Quax*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
169 Downloads (Pure)


Engineering strategies to improve terpenoids production in Bacillus subtilis mainly focus on 2C-methyl-D-erythritol-4-phosphate (MEP) pathway overexpression. To systematically engineer the chassis strain for higher amorphadiene (precursor of artemisinin) production, a clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat-Cas9 (CRISPR-Cas9) system was established in B. subtilis to facilitate precise and efficient genome editing. Then, this system was employed to engineer three more modules to improve amorphadiene production, including the terpene synthase module, the branch pathway module, and the central metabolic pathway module. Finally, our combination of all of the useful strategies within one strain significantly increased extracellular amorphadiene production from 81 to 116 mg/L after 48 h flask fermentation without medium optimization. For the first time, we attenuated the FPP-derived competing pathway to improve amorphadiene biosynthesis and investigated how the TCA cycle affects amorphadiene production in B. subtilis. Overall, this study provides a universal strategy for further increasing terpenoids' production in B. subtilis by comprehensive and systematic metabolic engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4785-4794
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 28-Apr-2021


  • Bacillus subtilis
  • CRISPR-Cas9
  • MEP
  • amorphadiene synthase
  • TCA cycle
  • metabolic engineering

Cite this