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Strain Engineering for Malic Acid

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As a fast-growing synthetic biology company, CD Biosynsis has built a multidisciplinary team to help our customers develop effective synthetic biology strategies to achieve sustainable and cost-competitive production of malic acid. We are committed to leveraging our expertise and experience to drive malic acid production into the post-fossil fuel era.

Advantages of Synthetic Biology-Driven Malic Acid Production

Malic acid with the molecular formula C4H6O5 is a four-carbon dicarboxylic acid found in many fruits, some vegetables, and wines. It has been widely used in food, beverage, cosmetic, chemical, and medical industries. Malic acid can be produced by chemical and biotechnological methods. Compared to petrochemical production routes where the main product is DL-malic acid, which has limited range of applications, microbial production of malic acid offers significant advantages, allowing the production of enantiomerically pure malic acid and the employment of a large number of renewable substrates independent from fossil resources. However, the development of efficient biotechnological production processes still faces many challenges. Recently, synthetic biology-driven microbial production of malic acid has attracted a great deal of attention. Rapidly developing enabling technologies in synthetic biology have been widely used to develop high malic acid-producing microbial strains and to construct microbial cell factories, providing an efficient, sustainable, and economical route for the biological production of malic acid.

Figure 1. Comparison of malic acid production based on renewable and fossil resources. (Kövilein A, et al., 2020)Figure 1. Comparison of malic acid production based on renewable and fossil resources. (Kövilein A, et al., 2020)

What We Provide

Leveraging our powerful synthetic biology platform, CD Biosynsis can provide our customers with custom synthetic biology services to help them develop effective strategies to achieve efficient biosynthesis of malic acid.

Featured Services

  • Overexpression of key enzymes associated with malic acid biosynthesis, such as pyruvate carboxylase (Pyc) and malic acid dehydrogenase (Mdh), to enhance biosynthetic pathways.
  • Redesign and reconstruction of biosynthetic pathways such as the oxidative TCA cycle, the reductive TCA (rTCA) pathway, and the glyoxylate pathway to improve malic acid production.
  • Overexpression of malic acid transporter genes to enhance malic acid efflux.
  • Elimination of unwanted pathways to block the formation of byproducts such as citric acid.
  • Channeling the intracellular carbon flux to malic acid synthesis.


  • Malic acid-producing microorganisms.
  • High-quality L-malic acid, D-malic acid, and polymalic acid (PMA).

How We Can Help

CD Biosynsis has a team of scientists specializing in genetic engineering and metabolic engineering to help our customers develop promising microbial strains suitable for bio-based production of malic acid. We have built a powerful technology platform covering a wide range of synthetic biology enabling technologies, enabling us to achieve efficient synthesis of malic acid from renewable resources such as glucose, cellulose, and hemicellulose through accelerated design-build-test-learn (DBTL) cycles.

Microbial Strains for Malic Acid Production

Although malic acid can be accumulated by a variety of microorganisms as an intermediate product of the TCA cycle, few wild-type microorganisms can be used to produce malic acid in large quantities. We have for a long time focused on using synthetic biology to advance the biosynthesis of chemicals. A collection of mutant and engineered microorganisms can be used for malic acid production. If you are interested in other microorganisms, please fill out the online inquiry form and tell us more about your project.

Aspergillus oryzae Aspergillus flavus Aspergillus niger Aspergillus carbonarius
Bacillus subtilis Escherichia coli Monascus araneosus Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Penicillium viticola Penicillium sclerotiorum Schizophyllum commune Zygosaccharomyces rouxii
Ustilago trichophora Myceliophthora thermophila Pichia pastoris Torulopsis glabrata
Thermobifida fusca Aureobasidium pullulans Rhizopus oryzae Rhizopus delemar

Efficient Microbial Production of Malic Acid

We work to unravel the biosynthesis pathways involved in malic acid production as well as key enzymes and important genes. Using our synthetic biology platform and advanced metabolic engineering strategies, our scientists can help our customers develop efficient malic acid production strains and construct efficient microbial cell factories that can meet the requirements of large-scale industrial production.

Optimization of In-situ Recovery Strategy

Product inhibition is an important reason for limiting malate biosynthesis. We are able to provide optimization services for in situ product recovery strategies to help customers improve product recovery in the fermentation broth, reduce the impact of product inhibition on microbial growth, and thereby increase malic acid production.

Applications of Malic Acid

Relying on advanced synthetic biology technologies and a team of professional scientists, CD Biosynsis provides high-quality synthetic biology services to customers from different industries to meet their demand for malic acid.

  • Used as flavor enhancer and acidulant in products such as soft drinks, jellies, candies, jams, fruit and vegetable juices, wines, and bakery products in the food and beverage industries.
  • Used as a feed additive in animal rations.
  • Used as a key building block that can be further converted into numerous chemicals such as 1,4-butanediol (BDO).
  • Used as an important platform chemical in the field of biopolymers.
  • Used as a pH controller, buffering agent, and chelating agent in the cosmetic and personal care industry.
  • Used in the treatment of dry mouth, fatigue, acne, and many other conditions.
  • Macromolecular materials from malic acid can be used as a drug carrier for drug delivery.
  • Malic acid is added to the medium to increase the growth rate of Lactobacillus plantarum.
  • Exogenous malic acid can be used to enhance the tolerance of plants to toxic metals.

Want to Learn More?

CD Biosynsis is committed to helping our customers meet the growing and evolving demand for bio-based chemical production. All of our deliverables will undergo a rigorous quality testing process to ensure the quality and reliability and can be delivered on time. If you are interested in our services or have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.


  1. Kövilein A, et al. Malic acid production from renewables: a review. Journal of chemical technology & biotechnology, 2020, 95(3): 513-526.
  2. Wei Z, et al. Microbial Biosynthesis of L-Malic Acid and Related Metabolic Engineering Strategies: Advances and Prospects. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, 2021, 9.

Please note that all services are for research use only. Not intended for any clinical use.

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