Quantitative metabolomics and metabolic flux analysis reveal impact of altered trehalose metabolism on metabolic phenotypes of Penicillium chrysogenum in aerobic glucose-limited chemostats

Guan Wang, Junfei Zhao, Xinxin Wang, Tong Wang, Yingping Zhuang*, Ju Chu, Siliang Zhang, Henk J. Noorman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


In Penicillium chrysogenum, it has been observed that turnover of storage carbohydrates (trehalose, mannitol, arabitol, erythritol and glycogen) resulting in an extra ATP expenditure might partly account for the reduced penicillin productivity under dynamic cultivation conditions. In this work, Penicillium chrysogenum mutants with altered trehalose metabolism were constructed using the Agrobacterium-mediated transformation method. It was observed that impaired trehalose biosynthesis did not result in growth arrest and change of glucose sensitivity to high glucose levels, but negatively influenced the sporulation. Compared with the original strain, in glucose-limited chemostat cultures, the biomass yield on glucose and energy efficiency were slightly enhanced; however, the penicillin productivity was significantly lowered in the trehalose mutant strains. Comparison with a high-yielding P. chrysogenum strain revealed that the original and mutant strains had a lower glucose uptake capacity but higher intracellular levels of free amino acids. Flux estimates through the central carbon metabolism showed distinctive difference in the upper part of the glycolysis and in the pentose phosphate pathway but comparable flux through the TCA cycle. Combining, the striking phenotypic effects observed in the trehalose mutants of P. chrysogenum indicated that trehalose metabolism plays an important role in metabolic regulation and is central to maintaining higher penicillin productivity under glucose-limited chemostat cultures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-51
JournalBiochemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Chemostat
  • Genome-scale metabolic model
  • Metabolic flux analysis
  • Metabolomics
  • Penicillium chrysogenum
  • Trehalose metabolism

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