Synthetic Biology
Strain Engineering for Butanetriol

Strain Engineering for Butanetriol

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Strain Engineering for Butanetriol

CD Biosynsis is committed to developing synthetic biology tools and enabling technologies to help our customers advance the biosynthesis of butanetriol in a more efficient, environmentally friendly, sustainable, and cost-effective manner. Our scientists specializing in synthetic biology chassis development and metabolic engineering are able to identify the suitable host organism and construct optimized synthetic pathways to achieve high yield production of butanetriol.

Advantages of Synthetic Biology-Driven Butanetriol Production

Butanetriol (BT or BTO) with the molecular formula C4H10O3 is a high-value four-carbon polyol with a variety of industrial applications. Since to date no naturally biosynthetic pathway for BT have been reported, chemical synthesis is the traditional strategy for BT production. However, the chemical synthesis of BT often involves hydrogenation reactions that require harsh reaction conditions (e.g., high temperatures) and the use of expensive metal catalysts. This process requires the use of petroleum-derived substrates and may produce toxic by-products, thus having a negative impact on the environment. Therefore, BT production needs to move towards environmentally friendly technologies using sustainable resources. Bio-based approaches are becoming attractive alternative routes. Advances in synthetic biology have accelerated the metabolic engineering, driving BT biosynthesis green manufacturing.

Figure 1. BTO biosynthesis from D-xylose, L-arabinose and malate as feedstock (A) in Escherichia coli and (B) in Arabidopsis thaliana. (Ghosh D., 2017))Figure 1. BTO biosynthesis from D-xylose, L-arabinose and malate as feedstock (A) in Escherichia coli and (B) in Arabidopsis thaliana. (Ghosh D., 2017))

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 butanetriol.

Featured Services

  • Optimization of synthetic pathways and disruption of competing pathways for improved BT production.
  • Design and construction of non-natural pathways for BT biosynthesis by identifying novel enzymes and regulating the expression of key genes.
  • Improved production of BT in plants by expressing genes encoding the key enzymes involved in BT biosynthetic pathways such as D-xylose dehydrogenase and L-arabinonate dehydratase.
  • Development of cell-free systems using synthetic enzyme cascades for high-yield production of BT in vitro.


  • Butanetriol-producing microorganisms.
  • High-quality butanetriol products, including D-1,2,4-butanetriol, L-1,2,4-butanetriol and their racemic mixtures.

How We Can Help

CD Biosynsis can help our customers overcome challenges in the efficient biosynthesis of butanetriol, such as inefficient enzymes, the lack of suitable synthetic biology chassis and efficient biosynthetic pathways, and the use of expensive raw materials. Our experts are capable of identifying the bottlenecks in the inefficient synthesis of BT and developing efficient synthetic pathways to improve BT production.

Development of Synthetic Biology Chassis for BT Production

We can identify and engineer a suitable host organism as synthetic biology chassis for improved BT production. These organisms can be bacteria, fungi, algae, and plants listed in the table below. If you are interested in other species, please fill out the online inquiry form and tell us more about your project.

Escherichia coli BL21 Escherichia coli BW25113 Saccharomyces cerevisiae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
Synechococcus sp. PCC 6803 Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 Arabidopsis thaliana

Design, Construction, and Optimization of BT Synthetic Pathway

With the aid of computational tools, we can select stepwise chemical intermediates and enzyme candidates for BT biosynthesis and outline candidate BT biosynthetic pathways. We focus on screening the key enzymes of the BT biosynthetic pathway using xylose, arabinose and malate as substrates, such as d-xylose dehydrogenase (XDG), d-xylonate dehydratase (XDT), benzylformate decarboxylase (BFD), aldehyde reductase (AdhP), d-arabinose dehydrogenase (AraDH), d-arabinonate dehydratase (AraD), and 2-keto acid decarboxylase (MdlC). Our expertise in enzyme engineering allows us to help our customers achieve improved BT production by systematical fine-tuning the enzyme expression level and activity.

Applications of Butanetriol

CD Biosynsis provides customized solutions for synthetic biology-driven butanetriol production to meet the needs of a wide range of industries, including but not limited to medicine, cosmetics, agriculture, polymer materials, pulp and paper industry, and tobacco industry.

  • Used as key intermediates for the synthesis of various pharmaceuticals, such as cholesterol lowering drugs.
  • Used as a precursor for the synthesis of the energetic materials, such as butanetriol trinitrate, explosives, and propellants.
  • Used as a building block for the synthesis of various useful chemicals.
  • Used as a solvent and humectant.
  • Used as one of the monomers for manufacture of some polyesters.
  • Used as a photographic developer component.
  • Used as an advanced ink anti-drying agent.
  • Used as a crosslinking agent for polymer materials.
  • Used as an additive in tobacco smoke filters.

Want to Learn More?

As a rapidly growing synthetic biology company, 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. Ghosh D. Synthetic and Systems Biology Approach towards Designing Metabolic Bypass and Identifying Novel Enzymes for Cholesterol Lowering Drug Precursor (BTO) Biosynthesis from Crude Glycerol. Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science, 2017, 7(10): 048-054.
  2. Sun L, et al. Synthetic pathway optimization for improved 1, 2, 4-butanetriol production. Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, 2016, 43(1): 67-78.
Please note that all services are for research use only. Not intended for any clinical use.

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