Evaluation of two thioesterases from Marinobacter aquaeolei VT8: Relationship to wax ester production

Amelia M. Lijewski, Carolann M. Knutson, Eric M. Lenneman, Brett M. Barney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The biosynthesis of lipid-based biofuels is an important aspect of developing sustainable alternatives to conventional oils derived from fossil fuel reserves. Many biosynthetic approaches to biodiesel fuels and oils involve fatty acid derivatives as a precursor, and thioesterases have been employed in various strategies to increase fatty acid pools. Thioesterases liberate fatty acids from fatty acyl-coenzyme A or fatty acyl-acyl carrier protein substrates. The role played by thioesterases has not been extensively studied in model bacteria that accumulate elevated levels of biological oils based on fatty acid precursors. In this report, two primary thioesterases from the wax ester accumulating bacterium Marinobacter aquaeolei VT8 were heterologously expressed, isolated and characterized. These genes were further analyzed at the transcriptional level in the native bacterium during wax ester accumulation, and their genes were disrupted to determine the effect these changes had on wax ester levels. Combined, these results indicate that these two thioesterases do not play an integral role in wax ester accumulation in this natural lipid-accumulating model bacterium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberfnaa206
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation to B.M.B. (Award numbers 0968781 and CBET-1437758), and from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (Project numbers MIN-12-070 and MIN-12-081). Further support was provided through generous start-up funds through the University of Minnesota. Additional funding was provided to C.M.K. through a Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering Graduate Fellowship and the Microbial Engineering Program at the University of Minnesota.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of FEMS..


  • Marinobacter
  • TesA
  • TesB
  • thioesterase
  • wax ester

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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