Chemical or biological synthesis of plant secondary metabolites has attracted increasing interest due to their proven or assumed beneficial properties and health promoting effects. Resveratrol, a stilbenoid, naringenin, a flavanone, genistein, an isoflavone, and the flavonols kaempferol and quercetin have been shown to possess high nutritional and agricultural value. Four metabolically engineered yeast strains harboring plasmids with heterologous genes for enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of these compounds from phenylalanine have been constructed. Time course analyses of precursor utilization and end-product accumulation were carried out establishing the production of 0.29-0.31mg/L of trans-resveratrol, 8.9-15.6mg/L of naringenin, 0.1-7.7mg/L of genistein, 0.9-4.6mg/L of kaempferol and 0.26-0.38mg/L of quercetin in defined media under optimal growth conditions. The recombinant yeast strains can be used further for the construction of improved flavonoid- and stilbenoid-overproducers.
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