The complexing agent ethylenediamine-disuccinate (EDDS) is an ethylenediamine-tetraacetate (EDTA) isomer. EDTA is widely used in paper, textile, and laundry industry but also as cosmetic, food, and medical additive.
Due to its poor degradability, EDTA became an environmental hazard. EDDS has similar complex-forming properties as EDTA. In contrast to EDTA, the isomer [S,S]-EDDS is biode-gradable. Therefore, a chemical process to produce [S,S]-EDDS had already been established. However, the chemical synthesis is not only expensive but also complicated.
A biotechnological large scale production of [S,S]-EDDS was not possible until now, because already 2 μM zinc, a concentration occurring ubiquitously in standard media, inhibits the synthesis of [S,S]-EDDS. Here we present a process to synthesize [S,S]-EDDS biotechnologically using an optimized Amycolatopsis japonicum strain, that produces [S,S]-EDDS in the presence of zinc and in complex media.
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