Pentanol isomer synthesis in engineered microorganisms

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2010 Jan;85(4):893-9. doi: 10.1007/s00253-009-2262-7. Epub 2009 Oct 27.


Pentanol isomers such as 2-methyl-1-butanol and 3-methyl-1-butanol are a useful class of chemicals with a potential application as biofuels. They are found as natural by-products of microbial fermentations from amino acid substrates. However, the production titer and yield of the natural processes are too low to be considered for practical applications. Through metabolic engineering, microbial strains for the production of these isomers have been developed, as well as that for 1-pentanol and pentenol. Although the current production levels are still too low for immediate industrial applications, the approach holds significant promise for major breakthroughs in production efficiency.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biofuels
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Isomerism
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways
  • Pentanols / metabolism*


  • Biofuels
  • Pentanols
  • isopentenol
  • isopentyl alcohol
  • n-pentanol