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Strain Engineering for Propionic Acid

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CD Biosynsis provides our customers with powerful synthetic biology capabilities to help them overcome challenges in the biotechnological production of propionic acid (PA) and meet the market demand for sustainable production. Our scientists have established a state-of-the-art synthetic biology platform to enable improved PA production in engineered microorganisms. We are committed to promoting the production of bio-based propionic acid as a more sustainable approach to meet the growing market demand.

Advantages of Synthetic Biology-Driven Propionic Acid Production

Propionic acid with the molecular formula C3H6O2 is a valuable C3 platform chemical with a wide range of applications in several industries including food, agriculture, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries. Although biotechnological production of PA cannot economically compete petrochemical routes, these bio-based methods has attracted continued interest in light of growing concerns about petroleum shortage and environmental pollution. However, the bio-based propionic acid production process still faces many difficulties, such as low yield, poor productivity, strong end-product inhibition, and challenges in engineering propionibacteria. Recent progress in synthetic biology provides new tools and strategies for the development of engineered microorganisms with improved fermentation capabilities and improved tolerance to PA. Synthetic biology may contribute greatly to advance the green and economical biotechnological production of PA.

Figure 1. Engineering of an anaerobic propionate fermentation pathway in E. coli. (Li J, et al., 2017)Figure 1. Engineering of an anaerobic propionate fermentation pathway in E. coli. (Li J, et al., 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 propionic acid.

Featured Services

  • Using genome shuffling to generate better propionic acid-producing strains than the wild strains.
  • Genetic engineering of propionibacteria to improve acid resistance and enhance PA production.
  • Engineering of the metabolic pathways such as succinate pathway, the acrylate pathway, and the propanediol pathway in propionibacteria to improve PA production.
  • Metabolic engineering of propionibacteria to protect them against propionic acid stress.


  • Propionic acid-producing microorganisms.
  • High-quality propionic acid products.

How We Can Help

CD Biosynsis has established a multidisciplinary team with expertise in synthetic biology, systems biology, and industrial fermentation technologies to help our customers overcome challenges and tackles in microbial engineering, improve PA production and optimize fermentation processes.

Engineering of Microbial Chassis for Propionic Acid Production

We can assist our customers with the design, engineering, and modification of microbial chassis to improve their PA productivity and acid tolerance using a wide range of genetic and metabolic engineering techniques. We focus on the study of microbial biosynthetic pathways of PA and have the ability to develop pathway engineering strategies to increase metabolic flux towards PA biosynthesis, increase yields and productivity, and decrease by-products. The following strains are available for propionic acid production. If you are interested in other strains, please fill out the online inquiry form and tell us more about your project.

Propionibacterium acidipropionici Propionibacterium beijingense Propionibacterium freudenreichii Propionibacterium jensenii Propionibacterium microaerophilum
Propionibacterium route Propionibacterium shermanii Propionibacterium thoenii Propionigenum modestu Anaeroglobus geminatus
Bacillus coagulans Bacteriodes thetaiotaomicron Bacteroides fragilis Clostridia propionicum Clostridium homopropionicum
Clostridium neopropionicum Escherichia coli Eubacterium hallii Fusobacterium necrophorum Megasphaera elsdenii
Negativicoccus succinicivorans Pelobacter propionicus Prevotella ruminicola Roseburia inulinivorans Salmonella typhimuriu
Selenomonas ruminantium Veillonella alcalescens Veillonella cricetii Veillonella gazogenes Veillonella parvula

Fermentation Process Optimization

PA produced through anaerobic fermentation faces a number of challenges such as slow growth rates and product inhibition. We can develop strategies to generate engineered microorganisms with enhanced resistance to end-product inhibition, explore inexpensive renewable carbon sources for PA production, and optimize fermentation conditions. Our experience in the successful scale-up of fermentation processes can support the increasing demand for industrial PA production.

Applications of Propionic Acid

CD Biosynsis can provide our customers with advanced synthetic biology tools and strategies to help our customers higher yield and productivity of PA to meet the growing demand in different industries.

  • Used as an antimicrobial agent in food preservatives, animal feed preservatives, and grain preservatives.
  • Used in the synthesis of pharmaceutical intermediate, such as chloropropionic acid and propionic anhydride.
  • Used as anti-inflammatory agents in anti-arthritic drugs, wound infections, conjunctivitis, and dermatoses.
  • Used in the synthesis of herbicides, such as sodium 2, 2-dichloropropionate.
  • Used as a precursor for the synthesis of cellulose acetate propionate (CAP).
  • Used in the production of fabrics, cellulose plastics, textiles, plasticizers, dye intermediates, and rubber auxiliaries.
  • Used in the production of artificial flavors and fragrances as food additives and cosmetic ingredients.

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. Vidra A, Németh Á. Bio-produced propionic acid: a review. Periodica Polytechnica Chemical Engineering, 2018, 62(1): 57-67.
  2. Li J, et al. Construction of a novel anaerobic pathway in Escherichia coli for propionate production. BMC biotechnology, 2017, 17(1): 1-9.

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

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