The genus Propionibacterium has a wide range of probiotic activities that are exploited in dairy and fermentation systems such as cheeses, propionic acid, and tetrapyrrole compounds. In order to improve production of tetrapyrrole compounds, we expressed the hemA gene, which encodes δ-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) synthase from Rhodobacter sphaeroides, and the hemB gene, which encodes porphobilinogen (PBG) synthase from Propionibacterium freudenreichii subsp. shermanii IFO12424, either monocistronically or polycistronically in strain IFO12426. The recombinant strains accumulated larger amounts of ALA and PBG, with resultant 28- to 33-fold-higher production of porphyrinogens, such as uroporphyrinogen and coproporphyrinogen, than those observed in strain IFO12426, which harbored the shuttle vector pPK705.
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