The role of glyoxylate bypass in a lysine-producing Corynebacterium lactofermentum strain was analyzed. Unlike the wild type, the strain expressed enzymes of glyoxylate bypass during growth in the fermentation broth containing glucose as the carbon source. To evaluate the importance of glyoxylate bypass in the strain, we disrupted chromosomal aceA by using a cloned fragment of the gene. Site-specific disruption of aceA which codes for the isocitrate lyase, the first enzyme of the bypass, was confirmed by Southern blot analysis. The aceA mutant strain completely lost isocitrate lyase activity and ability to grow in a minimal medium containing acetate as the sole carbon source. The mutant strain was similar to its parental strain in growth characteristics and produced comparable amounts of lysine in shake flasks containing glucose as the carbon source. The amount of oxaloacetate accumulated in the fermentation medium was similar for both strains, suggesting that expression of glyoxylate bypass does not necessarily lead to the increase in intracellular oxaloacetate. These data clearly demonstrate that glyoxylate bypass does not function as one of the routes of carbon supply for lysine production in the strain. It appears that the leakiness of the glyoxylate bypass in the strain might be the result of a secondary mutation which arose during previous strain development by random mutagenesis.
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