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Title:
RECOVERY OF STEVIOL GLYCOSIDES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2015/014959
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates a process for the recovery of one or more steviol glycosides from a steviol glycoside-containing fermentation broth, which method comprises (a) providing a fermentation broth comprising one or more steviol glycosides and one or more non-steviol glycoside components; (b) separating the liquid phase of the broth from the solid phase of the broth; (c) providing an adsorbent resin; (d) contacting the liquid phase of the broth with the adsorbent resin in order to separate at least a portion of the one or more steviol glycosides from the non-steviol glycoside components, thereby to recover one or more steviol glycosides from the fermentation broth containing one or more steviol glycosides. The invention also relates to a purified steviol glycoside composition prepared using such a process.

Inventors:
GALAEV, Igor (P.O. Box 4, AA Echt, NL-6100, NL)
Application Number:
EP2014/066536
Publication Date:
February 05, 2015
Filing Date:
July 31, 2014
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
DSM IP ASSETS B.V. (Het Overloon 1, TE Heerlen, NL-6411, NL)
International Classes:
C07H1/08; C07H15/24
Domestic Patent References:
WO2011153378A12011-12-08
WO2009140394A12009-11-19
WO2011046423A12011-04-21
WO2014122227A22014-08-14
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CHADWICK, Mark Craig (DSM Intellectual Property, P.O. Box 4, AA Echt, NL-6100, NL)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1 . A process for the recovery of one or more steviol glycosides from a steviol glycoside-containing fermentation broth, which method comprises

(a) providing a fermentation broth comprising one or more steviol glycosides and one or more non-steviol glycoside components;

(b) separating a liquid phase of the broth from a solid phase of the broth;

(c) providing an adsorbent resin;

(d) contacting the liquid phase of the broth with the adsorbent resin in order to separate at least a portion of the one or more steviol glycosides from the non- steviol glycoside components, thereby to recover one or more steviol glycosides from the fermentation broth containing one or more steviol glycosides.

2. A process according to claim 1 , wherein the adsorbent resin is provided in a packed column.

3. A process for the recovery of one or more steviol glycosides from a steviol glycoside-containing fermentation broth, which method comprises

(a) providing a steviol glycoside-containing fermentation broth;

(b) providing an adsorbent resin;

(c) contacting the broth with the adsorbent resin in order to separate at least a portion of the one or more steviol glycosides from the non-steviol glycoside components, thereby to recover one or more steviol glycosides from the fermentation broth containing one or more steviol glycosides.

4. A process according to claim 3, wherein the adsorbent resin is provided in a packed column in an expanded bed mode.

5. A process according to claim 2 or 4, wherein the adsorbent resin is a polystyrene-divinylbenzene resin, a polymethacrylate resin, a polyaromatic resin, a functionalized polymethacrylate-divinybenzene resin, a functionalized polystyrene-divinylbenzene resin or an amino (NH2) bonded methacrylate/divinylbenzene copolymer resin.

6. A process according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the method of separating comprises adsorb/desorb chromatography.

7. A process according to claim 6, wherein the adsorb/desorb chromatography comprises the steps of

(a) providing a liquid phase according to claim 1 (b) or a broth according to claim 2(a) and a solvent;

(b) providing an adsorbent resin;

(c) providing an elution solvent;

(d) contacting the adsorbent resin with the liquid phase or broth and elution solvent so that at least a portion of the non-steviol glycoside components adsorbs onto the adsorbent enriching the glycoside solution in steviol glycosides and resulting in the formation of a purified steviol glycoside composition that is eluted from the adsorbent along with the elution solvent; and

(e) optionally, desorbing the non-steviol glycoside components from the adsorbent.

8. A process according to claim 7, wherein the adsorbent resin is provided in a packed column.

9. A process according to claim 7 or 8, wherein the elution solvent comprises about 20% weight or less alcohol, such as ethanol; and about 80% weight or greater water.

10. A process according to claim 7 or 8, wherein the elution solvent comprises about 50% weight or less alcohol, such as ethanol; and about 50% weight or greater water.

1 1 . A process according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the method of separating comprises fractionation chromatography.

12. A process according to claim 1 1 , wherein the fractionation chromatography comprises the steps of:

(a) providing a liquid phase according to claim 1 (b) or a broth according to claim 2(a) and a solvent;

(b) providing an adsorbent; and

(c) contacting the adsorbent with the liquid phase or broth so that at least a portion of the non-steviol glycoside components adsorb onto the adsorbent and so that at least a portion of the steviol glycoside adsorbs onto the adsorbent, wherein the steviol glycosides propagate through the adsorbent at a faster rate than the non-steviol glycosides; and

(d) collecting a steviol glycoside-containing solution from the adsorbent.

13. A process according to claim 12, wherein the adsorbent is provided in a packed column.

14. A process according to claim 12 or 13, wherein the solvent comprises about 20% weight or greater alcohol, such as ethanol, and about 80% weight or less water.

15. A process according to claim 12 or 13, wherein the solvent comprises about 25% to about 35% weight alcohol, such as ethanol, and about 65% to about 75% water.

16. A process according to claim 12 or 13, wherein the solvent comprises water and wherein the adsorbent is a strongly acidic cationic exchange resin.

17. A process according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the adsorbent has a surface area of about 900 m2/gram or greater.

18. A process according to any one of claims 5 to 17, wherein the adsorbent is functionalized with tertiary amines or quaternary amines.

19. A process according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the recovered steviol glycoside-containing solution has a purity that is at least about 10% greater as compared to a purity of the liquid phase of claim 1 (b) or broth of claim 2(a).

20. A process according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the purified steviol glycoside-containing solution comprises, on a dry solids basis, at least about 95% weight of Rebaudioside A, Rebaudioside D or Rebaudioside M.

21 . A process according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the steviol glycoside-containing solution is spray-dried to provide a powder.

22. A solution comprising one or more steviol glycosides obtainable by a process according to any one of claims 1 to 21 .

23. A solution according to claim 22 which comprises one or more of steviolmonoside, steviolbioside, stevioside or rebaudioside A, rebaudioside B, rebaudioside C, rebaudioside D, rebaudioside E, rebaudioside F, rubusoside, dulcoside A or rebaudioside M.

24. A solution according to claim 22 or 23 which comprises, on a dry solids basis, at least about 95% weight of Rebaudioside A, Rebaudioside D or Rebaudioside M.

25. A composition which comprises at least about, on a dry solids basis, at least about 95% fermentatively-produced Rebaudioside A, Rebaudioside D or

Rebaudioside M.

26. A composition according to claim 25 which is a powder obtainable by a process according to claim 21 .

Description:
RECOVERY OF STEVIOL GLYCOSIDES

Field of the invention

The present invention relates to a process for the recovery of one or more steviol glycosides from a steviol glycoside-containing fermentation broth. The invention also relates to a composition obtainable by such a method.

Background to the invention

The worldwide demand for high potency sweeteners is increasing and, with blending of different artificial sweeteners, becoming a standard practice. However, the demand for alternatives is expected to increase. The leaves of the perennial herb, Stevia rebaudiana Bert., accumulate quantities of intensely sweet compounds known as steviol glycosides. Whilst the biological function of these compounds is unclear, they have commercial significance as alternative high potency sweeteners, with the added advantage that Stevia sweeteners are natural plant products.

These sweet steviol glycosides have functional and sensory properties that appear to be superior to those of many high potency sweeteners. In addition, studies suggest that stevioside can reduce blood glucose levels in Type II diabetics and can reduce blood pressure in mildly hypertensive patients.

Steviol glycosides accumulate in Stevia leaves where they may comprise from 10 to 20% of the leaf dry weight. Stevioside and rebaudioside A are both heat and pH stable and suitable for use in carbonated beverages and many other foods. Stevioside is between 1 10 and 270 times sweeter than sucrose, rebaudioside A between 150 and 320 times sweeter than sucrose. In addition, rebaudioside D is also a high-potency diterpene glycoside sweetener which accumulates in Stevia leaves. It may be about 200 times sweeter than sucrose

Currently, steviol glycosides are extracted from the Stevia plant. In Stevia, (-)- kaurenoic acid, an intermediate in gibberellic acid (GA) biosynthesis, is converted into the tetracyclic dipterepene steviol, which then proceeds through a multi-step glucosylation pathway to form the various steviol glycosides. However, yields may be variable and affected by agriculture and environmental conditions. Also, Stevia cultivation requires substantial land area, a long time prior to harvest, intensive labour and additional costs for the extraction and purification of the glycosides.

New, more standardized, clean single composition, no after-taste, sources of glycosides are required to meet growing commercial demand for high potency, natural sweeteners.

Summary of the invention

Steviol glycosides may be produced fermentatively in recombinant microorganisms as set out in co-pending International patent application no. WO2013/1 10673 (PCT/EP2013/051262).

The current invention relates to simplification and improvement of the process of separating and recovering steviol glycosides from a fermentation broth comprising one or more such compounds.

The invention thus provides a process in which fermentatively produced steviol glycosides may be separated away from the other components of the fermentation broth. That is to say, the invention relates to a method for recovering one or more steviol glycosides from a fermentation broth comprising one or more such compounds. The invention also relates to compositions prepared using such a process.

The invention generally relates to recovery of steviol glycosides from a fermentation broth using a chromatographic process. Accordingly, the invention relates to a process for the recovery of one or more steviol glycosides from a steviol glycoside- containing fermentation broth, which method comprises

(a) providing a fermentation broth comprising one or more steviol glycosides and one or more non-steviol glycoside components;

(b) separating the liquid phase of the broth from the solid phase of the broth;

(c) providing an adsorbent resin, for example in a packed column; (d) contacting the liquid phase of the broth with the adsorbent resin in order to separate at least a portion of the one or more steviol glycosides from the non- steviol glycoside components, thereby to recover one or more steviol glycosides from the fermentation broth containing one or more steviol glycosides.

The invention also relates to a process for the recovery of one or more steviol glycosides from a steviol glycoside-containing fermentation broth, which method comprises

(a) providing a steviol glycoside-containing fermentation broth;

(b) providing an adsorbent resin, for example in a packed column in an expanded bed mode;

(c) contacting the liquid phase of the broth with the adsorbent resin in order to separate at least a portion of the one or more steviol glycosides from the non- steviol glycoside components, thereby to recover one or more steviol glycosides from the fermentation broth containing one or more steviol glycosides.

The invention also relates to:

a solution comprising one or more steviol glycosides obtainable by a process according to the invention; and

a composition which comprises, on a dry solids basis, at least about 95% fermentatively-produced Rebaudioside A, Rebaudioside D or Rebaudioside M.

Brief description of the drawings

Figure 1 sets out a schematic representation of the plasmid pUG7-EcoRV.

Figure 2 sets out a schematic representation of the method by which the ERG20, tHMG1 and BTS1 over-expression cassettes are designed (A) and integrated (B) into the yeast genome. (C) shows the final situation after removal of the KANMX marker by the Cre recombinase.

Figure 3 sets out a schematic representation of the ERG9 knock down construct. This consists of a 500 bp long 3' part of ERG9, 98 bp of the TRP1 promoter, the TRP1 open reading frame and terminator, followed by a 400 bp long downstream sequence of ERG9. Due to introduction of a Xbal site at the end of the ERG9 open reading frame the last amino acid changes into Ser and the stop codon into Arg. A new stop codon is located in the TPR1 promoter, resulting in an extension of 18 amino acids.

Figure 4 sets out a schematic representation of how UGT2 is integrated into the genome. A. different fragments used in transformation; B. situation after integration; C. situation after expression of Cre recombinase.

Figure 5 sets out a schematic representation of how the pathway from GGPP to RebA is integrated into the genome. A. different fragments used in transformation; B. situation after integration.

Figure 6 sets out the elution pattern of extract (1 st run).

Figure 7 sets out the elution pattern of extract (2 nd run).

Figure 8 sets out a schematic diagram of the potential pathways leading to biosynthesis of steviol glycosides.

Description of the sequence listing

A description of the sequences is set out in Table 1 . Sequences described herein may be defined with reference to the sequence listing or with reference to the database accession numbers also set out in Table 1.

Detailed description of the invention

Throughout the present specification and the accompanying claims, the words "comprise", "include" and "having" and variations such as "comprises", "comprising", "includes" and "including" are to be interpreted inclusively. That is, these words are intended to convey the possible inclusion of other elements or integers not specifically recited, where the context allows. The articles "a" and "an" are used herein to refer to one or to more than one (i.e. to one or at least one) of the grammatical object of the article. By way of example, "an element" may mean one element or more than one element.

Herein, the term non-steviol glycoside should be taken to mean a substance which is not a steviol glycoside.

The invention concerns a process for the recovery of one or more steviol glycosides from a steviol glycoside-containing fermentation broth, which method comprises

(a) providing a fermentation broth comprising one or more steviol glycosides and one or more non-steviol glycoside components;

(b) separating a liquid phase of the broth from a solid phase of the broth;

(c) contacting the liquid phase of the broth with an adsorbent resin in order to separate at least a portion of the one or more steviol glycosides from the non- steviol glycoside components, thereby to recover one or more steviol glycosides from the fermentation broth containing one or more steviol glycosides.

Typically, the adsorbent resin is provided in a packed column.

The invention also relates to a process for the recovery of one or more steviol glycosides from a steviol glycoside-containing fermentation broth, which method comprises

(a) providing a steviol glycoside-containing fermentation broth;

(b) contacting the broth with an adsorbent resin in order to separate at least a portion of the one or more steviol glycosides from the non-steviol glycoside components, thereby to recover one or more steviol glycosides from the fermentation broth containing one or more steviol glycosides.

Typically, the adsorbent resin is provided in a packed column in an expanded bed mode.

The fermentation broth is a fermentation broth obtained from fermentation of a microorganism, typically a recombinant microorganism, which is capable of producing one or more steviol glycosides. Such microorganisms and their fermentation are described herein. Typically, the recombinant microorganism is one which is capable of extracellular production of one or more steviol glycosides.

Typically, the broth is treated prior to be applied to a chromatography column.

In particular, cells may be disrupted and the resulting solid and liquid phases separated. Cell disruption may be carried out, for example, by mechanical or heat shock. Such cell disruption may not, however, be necessary of the microorganism produced sufficient extracellular steviol glycoside(s). Solid/liquid separation may be carried out, for example, by centrifugation, membrane filtration or microfiltration.

The liquid may then conveniently be applied to a chromatography column.

An alternative separation of liquid and solid phases may comprise spray-drying the broth (for example a broth where the cells have been disrupted) and then extracting steviol glycosides with a suitable solvent, for example ethanol. In terms of this invention, this type of process should be understood to constitute "separating a liquid phase of the broth from a solid phase of the broth". The resulting liquid may then conveniently be applied to a chromatography column.

The process of the invention may alternatively be carried out with whole broth (i.e. including cells) where the process is carried out in the expanded bed format.

Expanded-bed adsorption allows the capture of proteins from particle-containing feedstocks without prior removal of particulates, thus enabling clarification of a cell suspension or cell homogenate and the concentration of the desired product in a single operation. Another aspect of using the expanded mode is the possibility of in situ removal of steviol glycosides from the broth whilst cells and non-bound nutrients are returned back to the fermentation tank.

In the process of the invention, the adsorbent resin may be any suitable resin, for example is a polystyrene-divinylbenzene resin, a polymethacrylate resin, a polyaromatic resin, a functionalized polymethacrylate-divinybenzene resin, a functionalized polystyrene-divinylbenzene resin or an amino (NH2) bonded methacrylate/divinylbenzene copolymer resin.

The adsorbant resin may be functionalized with tertiary amines or quaternary amines.

In a process of the invention, the adsorbent may have a surface area of about 900 m 2 /gram or greater.

The process according to the invention may be carried out in an adsorb/desorb chromatography format. In this format, the method comprises

(a) providing a liquid phase (derived from a fermentation broth) or a fermentation broth and a solvent;

(b) providing an adsorbent resin;

(c) providing an elution solvent;

(d) contacting the adsorbent resin with the liquid phase or broth and elution solvent so that at least a portion of the non-steviol glycoside components adsorbs onto the adsorbent enriching the glycoside solution in steviol glycosides and resulting in the formation of a purified steviol glycoside composition that is eluted from the adsorbent along with the elution solvent; and

(e) optionally, desorbing the non-steviol glycoside components from the adsorbent.

Typically, the adsorbent resin is provided in a packed column.

In such a process, the elution solvent may comprise about 20% weight or less of an alcohol and about 80% weight or greater water.

In such a process, the elution solvent may comprise about 50% weight or less of an alcohol and about 50% weight or greater water.

The process of the invention may be carried out in a format wherein the method of separating comprises fractionation chromatography. Such a process may comprise the steps of: (a) providing a liquid phase (derived from a fermentation broth) or a fermentation broth and a solvent;

(b) providing a column packed with an adsorbent; and

(c) contacting the adsorbent with the liquid phase or broth so that at least a portion of the non-steviol glycoside components adsorb onto the adsorbent and so that at least a portion of the steviol glycoside adsorbs onto the adsorbent, wherein the steviol glycosides propagate through the adsorbent at a faster rate than the non-steviol glycosides; and

(d) collecting a steviol glycoside-containing solution from the adsorbent.

In such a process, the solvent may comprises about 20% weight or greater of an alcohol and about 80% weight or less water.

In such a process according to claim 9, wherein the solvent comprises about 25% to about 35% weight of an alcohol and about 65% to about 75% water.

In such a process, the alcohol may be methanol, ethanol, propanol or butanol.

In such a process, the solvent may comprise water and the adsorbent may be a strongly acidic cationic exchange resin.

In any format of the invention, more than one chromatographic cycle may be carried out, for example two, three, four, five or more chromatographic cycles.

In a process of the invention where two or more chromatographic cycles are used, chromatography at pH as such may be followed by chromatography at about pH 8.5 to reduce the concentration of Reb B. Reb B is one of very few rebaudiosides that had free carboxy group. Accordingly, at high pH, where this group is charged, RebB will have much lower affinity for a hydrophobic adsorbent (for example HP-20) and hence will not bind to it at pH 8.5 while other non-charged rebaudiosides will still bind well.

The process of the invention permits a purified steviol-glycoside comprising solution to be recovered. The recovered steviol glycoside-containing solution typically has a purity that is at least about 10% greater, at least about 20% greater, at least about about 30% as compared to a purity of the liquid phase or broth (from which the at least one steviol glycoside is recovered).

Herein, the phrase "separate at least a portion of the one or more steviol glycosides from the non-steviol glycoside components" should be understood to imply that at least a portion of the one or more steviol glycosides is separated from at least a portion of the non-steviol glycoside components. The phrase is not intended to imply that the portion of the one or more steviol glycosides recovered according to the process of the invention is necessarily entirely free from non-steviol glycoside components. It is possible that non-steviol glycoside components are recovered too. However, the recovered one or more steviol glycosides should be enriched for the one or more steviol glycosides as compared with the starting material, eg, a fermentation broth. That is to say, the one or more steviol glycosides recovered according to the invention should comprise less non-steviol glycosides as compared with the starting material.

In a process of the invention, the purified steviol glycoside-containing solution comprises, on a dry solids basis, at least about 60%, at least about 70%, at least about 80%, at least about 90%, at least about 95%, at least about 99% weight of Rebaudioside A, Rebaudioside D or Rebaudioside M.

The solution may be further processed to a solid form, for example a granulate or power, for example by spray-drying or crystallization. Such a solid composition may comprise at least about 60%, at least about 70%, at least about 80%, at least about 90%, at least about 95%, at least about 99% by weight of Rebaudioside A, Rebaudioside D or Rebaudioside M.

The invention thus provides a solution comprising one or more steviol glycosides obtainable by a process according to the invention. Such a solution may comprises one or more of steviolmonoside, steviolbioside, stevioside or rebaudioside A, rebaudioside B, rebaudioside C, rebaudioside D, rebaudioside E, rebaudioside F, rubusoside, dulcoside A or rebaudioside M.

Such a solution may comprise, on a dry solids basis, at least about 60%, at least about 70%, at least about 80%, at least about 90%, at least about 95%, at least about 99% weight of Rebaudioside A, Rebaudioside D or Rebaudioside M.

Accordingly, the invention provides a composition which may comprise, on a dry solids basis, at least about 60%, at least about 70%, at least about 80%, at least about 90%, at least about 95%, at least about 99% weight of fermentatively-produced Rebaudioside A, Rebaudioside D or Rebaudioside M.

Such a composition may be a granulate or powder obtainable by a process as set out above which includes a step of processing the purified steviol-comprising solution to a solid form. Such a solid composition may comprise at least about 60%, at least about 70%, at least about 80%, at least about 90%, at least about 95%, at least about 99% by weight of fermentatively-produced ebaudioside A, Rebaudioside D or Rebaudioside M.

In the invention, the broth may be derived from the fermentation of any microorganism capable of producing a steviol glycoside.

In particular, a broth may be derived from a recombinant microorganism that is capable of producing a steviol glycoside. Suitable recombinant microorganisms are described herein below. Such a recombinant microorganism may comprise one or more nucleotide sequence(s) encoding:

a polypeptide having ent-copalyl pyrophosphate synthase activity;

a polypeptide having ent-Kaurene synthase activity;

a polypeptide having ent-Kaurene oxidase activity;

a polypeptide having kaurenoic acid 13-hydroxylase activity; and one or more polypeptides having UDP-glucosyltransferase (UGT) activity, whereby expression of the nucleotide sequence(s) confer(s) on the microorganism the ability to produce at least one steviol glycoside.

For the purposes of this invention, a polypeptide having enf-copalyl pyrophosphate synthase (EC 5.5.1.13) is capable of catalyzing the chemical reation:

This enzyme has one substrate, geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate, and one product, enf-copalyl pyrophosphate. This enzyme participates in gibberellin biosynthesis. This enzyme belongs to the family of isomerase, specifically the class of intramolecular lyases. The systematic name of this enzyme class is enf-copalyl-diphosphate lyase (decyclizing). Other names in common use include having enf-copalyl pyrophosphate synthase, enf-kaurene synthase A, and enf-kaurene synthetase A.

For the purposes of this invention, a polypeptide having ent-kaurene synthase activity (EC 4.2.3.19) is a polypeptide that is capable of catalyzing the chemical reaction: ent-copalyl diphosphate =½nt-kaurene + diphosphate Hence, this enzyme has one substrate, ent-copalyl diphosphate, and two products, ent-kaurene and diphosphate.

This enzyme belongs to the family of lyases, specifically those carbon-oxygen lyases acting on phosphates. The systematic name of this enzyme class is ent-copalyl- diphosphate diphosphate-lyase (cyclizing, ent-kaurene-forming). Other names in common use include ent-kaurene synthase B, ent-kaurene synthetase B, ent-copalyl- diphosphate diphosphate-lyase, and (cyclizing). This enzyme participates in diterpenoid biosynthesis.

enf-copalyl diphosphate synthases may also have a distinct enf-kaurene synthase activity associated with the same protein molecule. The reaction catalyzed by eni-kaurene synthase is the next step in the biosynthetic pathway to gibberellins. The two types of enzymic activity are distinct, and site-directed mutagenesis to suppress the eni-kaurene synthase activity of the protein leads to build up of eni-copalyl pyrophosphate.

Accordingly, a single nucleotide sequence may encode a polypeptide having ent- copalyl pyrophosphate synthase activity and eni-kaurene synthase activity. Alternatively, the two activities may be encoded two distinct, separate nucleotide sequences.

For the purposes of this invention, a polypeptide having ent-kaurene oxidase activity (EC 1.14.13.78) is a polypeptide which is capable of catalysing three successive oxidations of the 4-methyl group of ent-kaurene to give kaurenoic acid. Such activity typically requires the presence of a cytochrome P450.

For the purposes of the invention, a polypeptide having kaurenoic acid 13- hydroxylase activity (EC 1.14.13) is one which is capable of catalyzing the formation of steviol (ent-kaur-16-en-13-ol-19-oic acid) using NADPH and 0 2 . Such activity may also be referred to as ent-ka 13-hydroxylase activity.

A recombinant microorganism which may be fermented to produce a fermentation broth for use in the process of the invention comprises one or more nucleotide sequences encoding a polypeptide having UDP-glucosyltransferase (UGT) activity, whereby expression of the nucleotide sequence(s) confer(s) on the microorganism the ability to produce at least one of steviolmonoside, steviolbioside, stevioside or rebaudioside A, rebaudioside B, rebaudioside C, rebaudioside D, rebaudioside E, rebaudioside F, rubusoside, dulcoside A or rebaudioside M. For the purposes of this invention, a polypeptide having UGT activity is one which has glycosyltransferase activity (EC 2.4), i.e. that can act as a catalyst for the transfer of a monosaccharide unit from an activated nucleotide sugar (also known as the "glycosyl donor") to a glycosyl acceptor molecule, usually an alcohol. The glycosyl donor for a UGT is typically the nucleotide sugar uridine diphosphate glucose (uracil-diphosphate glucose, UDP-glucose).

The UGTs used may be selected so as to produce a desired diterpene glycoside, such as a steviol glycoside. Schematic diagrams of steviol glycoside formation are set out in Humphrey et ai, Plant Molecular Biology (2006) 61 : 47-62 and Mohamed et ai, J. Plant Physiology 168 (201 1 ) 1 136-1 141 . In addition, Figure 8 sets out a schematic diagram of steviol glycoside formation.

The biosynthesis of rebaudioside A involves glucosylation of the aglycone steviol. Specifically, rebaudioside A can be formed by glucosylation of the 13-OH of steviol which forms the 13-O-steviolmonoside, glucosylation of the C-2' of the 13-O-glucose of steviolmonoside which forms steviol-1 ,2-bioside, glucosylation of the C-19 carboxyl of steviol-1 ,2-bioside which forms stevioside, and glucosylation of the C-3' of the C-13-0- glucose of stevioside. The order in which each glucosylation reaction occurs can vary - see Figure 8. One UGT may be capable of catalyzing more than one conversion as set out in this scheme.

Conversion of steviol to rebaudioside A or rebaudioside D may be accomplished in a recombinant host by the expression of gene(s) encoding the following functional UGTs: UGT74G1 , UGT85C2, UGT76G1 and UGT2. Thus, a recombinant microorganism expressing these four UGTs can make rebaudioside A if it produces steviol or when fed steviol in the medium. Typically, one or more of these genes are recombinant genes that have been transformed into a microorganism that does not naturally possess them. Examples of all of these enzmyes are set out in Table 1. A recombinant microorganism may comprise any combination of a UGT74G1 , UGT85C2, UGT76G1 and UGT2. In Table 1 UGT64G1 sequences are indicated as UGT1 sequences, UGT74G1 sequences are indicated as UGT3 sequences and UGT76G1 sequences are indicated as UGT4 sequences. UGT2 sequences are indicated as UGT2 sequences in Table 1 .

A recombinant microorganism which comprises a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having UGT activity may comprise a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide capable of catalyzing the addition of a C-13-glucose to steviol. That is to say, a recombinant microorganism may comprise a UGT which is capable of catalyzing a reaction in which steviol is converted to steviolmonoside. Accordingly, expression of such a nucleotide sequence may confer on the microorganism the ability to produce at least steviolmonoside.

Such a microorganism may comprise a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having the activity shown by UDP-glycosyltransferase (UGT) UGT85C2, whereby the nucleotide sequence upon transformation of the microorganism confers on the cell the ability to convert steviol to steviolmonoside.

UGT85C2 activity is transfer of a glucose unit to the 13-OH of steviol. Thus, a suitable UGT85C2 may function as a uridine 5'-diphospho glucosyl: steviol 13-OH transferase, and a uridine 5'-diphospho glucosyl: steviol- 19-0- glucoside 13-OH transferase. A functional UGT85C2 polypeptides may also catalyze glucosyl transferase reactions that utilize steviol glycoside substrates other than steviol and steviol- 19-0- glucoside. Such sequences are indicated as UGT1 sequences in Table 1.

A recombinant microorganism which comprises a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having UGT activity may comprise a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide capable of catalyzing the addition of a C-13-glucose to steviol or steviolmonoside. That is to say, a recombinant microorganism may comprise a UGT which is capable of catalyzing a reaction in which steviolmonoside is converted to steviolbioside. Accordingly, such a microorganism may be capable of converting steviolmonoside to steviolbioside. Expression of such a nucleotide sequence may confer on the microorganism the ability to produce at least steviolbioside.

A suitable recombinant microorganism may also comprise a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having the activity shown by UDP-glycosyltransferase (UGT) UGT74G1 , whereby the nucleotide sequence upon transformation of the microorganism confers on the cell the ability to convert steviolmonoside to steviolbioside.

A suitable recombinant microorganism may also comprise a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having the activity shown by UDP-glycosyltransferase (UGT) UGT2, whereby the nucleotide sequence upon transformation of the microorganism confers on the cell the ability to convert steviolmonoside to steviolbioside.

A suitable UGT2 polypeptide functions as a uridine 5'-diphospho glucosyl: steviol- 13-O-glucoside transferase (also referred to as a steviol-13- monoglucoside 1 ,2- glucosylase), transferring a glucose moiety to the C-2' of the 13- O-glucose of the acceptor molecule, steviol- 13-O-glucoside. Typically, a suitable UGT2 polypeptide also functions as a uridine 5'-diphospho glucosyl: rubusoside transferase transferring a glucose moiety to the C-2' of the 13-O-glucose of the acceptor molecule, rubusoside.

Functional UGT2 polypeptides may also catalyze reactions that utilize steviol glycoside substrates other than steviol- 13-0-glucoside and rubusoside, e.g., functional UGT2 polypeptides may utilize stevioside as a substrate, transferring a glucose moiety to the C-2' of the 19-O-glucose residue to produce Rebaudioside E. A functional UGT2 polypeptides may also utilize Rebaudioside A as a substrate, transferring a glucose moiety to the C-2' of the 19-O-glucose residue to produce Rebaudioside D. However, a functional UGT2 polypeptide typically does not transfer a glucose moiety to steviol compounds having a 1 ,3-bound glucose at the C- 13 position, i.e., transfer of a glucose moiety to steviol 1 ,3- bioside and 1 ,3-stevioside does not occur.

Functional UGT2 polypeptides may also transfer sugar moieties from donors other than uridine diphosphate glucose. For example, a functional UGT2 polypeptide may act as a uridine 5'-diphospho D-xylosyl: steviol- 13 -O-glucoside transferase, transferring a xylose moiety to the C-2' of the 13-O-glucose of the acceptor molecule, steviol- 13 -O-glucoside. As another example, a functional UGT2 polypeptide can act as a uridine 5'-diphospho L- rhamnosyl: steviol- 13-0- glucoside transferase, transferring a rhamnose moiety to the C-2' of the 13-O-glucose of the acceptor molecule, steviol-13-O-glucoside. Such sequences are indicated as UGT2 sequences in Table 1.

A recombinant microorganism which may be fermented to produce a fermentation broth for use in a process of the invention which comprises a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having UGT activity may comprise a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide capable of catalyzing the addition of a C-19-glucose to steviolbioside. That is to say, a suitable recombinant microorganism may comprise a UGT which is capable of catalyzing a reaction in which steviolbioside is converted to stevioside. Accordingly, such a microorganism may be capable of converting steviolbioside to stevioside. Expression of such a nucleotide sequence may confer on the microorganism the ability to produce at least stevioside.

A suitable recombinant microorganism may also comprise a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having the activity shown by UDP-glycosyltransferase (UGT) UGT74G1 , whereby the nucleotide sequence upon transformation of the microorganism confers on the cell the ability to convert steviolbioside to stevioside.

Suitable UGT74G1 polypeptides may be capable of transferring a glucose unit to the 13-OH or the 19-COOH, respectively, of steviol. A suitable UGT74G1 polypeptide may function as a uridine 5'-diphospho glucosyl: steviol 19-COOH transferase and a uridine 5'- diphospho glucosyl: steviol- 13-O-glucoside 19-COOH transferase. Functional UGT74G1 polypeptides also may catalyze glycosyl transferase reactions that utilize steviol glycoside substrates other than steviol and steviol- 13-O-glucoside, or that transfer sugar moieties from donors other than uridine diphosphate glucose. Such sequences are indicated as UGT1 sequences in Table 3.

A recombinant microorganism which comprises a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having UGT activity may comprise a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide capable of catalyzing glucosylation of the C-3' of the glucose at the C-13 position of stevioside. That is to say, a recombinant microorganism may comprise a UGT which is capable of catalyzing a reaction in which stevioside to rebaudioside A. Accordingly, such a microorganism may be capable of converting stevioside to rebaudioside A. Expression of such a nucleotide sequence may confer on the microorganism the ability to produce at least rebaudioside A.

A suitable recombinant microorganism may also comprise a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having the activity shown by UDP-glycosyltransferase (UGT) UGT76G1 , whereby the nucleotide sequence upon transformation of the microorganism confers on the cell the ability to convert stevioside to rebaudioside A.

A suitable UGT76G1 adds a glucose moiety to the C-3'of the C-13-O-glucose of the acceptor molecule, a steviol 1 ,2 glycoside. Thus, UGT76G1 functions, for example, as a uridine 5'-diphospho glucosyl: steviol 13-0-1 ,2 glucoside C-3 ' glucosyl transferase and a uridine 5'-diphospho glucosyl: steviol- 19-0-glucose, 13-0-1 ,2 bioside C-3' glucosyl transferase. Functional UGT76G1 polypeptides may also catalyze glucosyl transferase reactions that utilize steviol glycoside substrates that contain sugars other than glucose, e.g., steviol rhamnosides and steviol xylosides. Such sequences are indicated as UGT4 sequences in Table 1.

A recombinant microorganism may comprise nucleotide sequences encoding polypeptides having one or more of the four UGT activities described above. Preferably, a recombinant microorganism may comprise nucleotide sequences encoding polypeptides having all four of the UGT activities described above. A given nucleic acid may encode a polypeptide having one or more of the above activities. For example, a nucleic acid encode for a polypeptide which has two, three or four of the activities set out above. Preferably, a recombinant microorganism comprises UGT1 , UGT2 and UGT3 activity. More preferably, such a recombinant microorganism will also comprise UGT4 activity.

A recombinant microorganism which comprises a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having UGT activity may comprise a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide capable of catalyzing the glucosylation of stevioside or rebaudioside A. That is to say, a recombinant microorganism may comprise a UGT which is capable of catalyzing a reaction in which stevioside or rebaudioside A is converted to rebaudioside D. Accordingly, such a microorganism may be capable of converting stevioside or rebaudioside A to rebaudioside D. Expression of such a nucleotide sequence may confer on the microorganism the ability to produce at least rebaudioside D. We have shown that a microorganism expression a combination of UGT85C2, UGT2, UGT74G1 and UGT76G1 polypeptides may be capable of rebaudioside D production.

A microorganism which comprises a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having UGT activity may comprise a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide capable of catalyzing the glucosylation of stevioside. That is to say, a microorganism may comprise a UGT which is capable of catalyzing a reaction in which stevioside is converted to rebaudioside E. Accordingly, such a microorganism may be capable of converting stevioside to rebaudioside E. Expression of such a nucleotide sequence may confer on the microorganism the ability to produce at least rebaudioside E.

A microorganism which comprises a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having UGT activity may comprise a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide capable of catalyzing the glucosylation of rebaudioside E. That is to say, a microorganism may comprise a UGT which is capable of catalyzing a reaction in which rebaudioside E is converted to rebaudioside D. Accordingly, such a microorganism may be capable of converting stevioside or rebaudioside A to rebaudioside D. Expression of such a nucleotide sequence may confer on the microorganism the ability to produce at least rebaudioside D.

A recombinant microorganism may be capable of expressing a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having NADPH-cytochrome p450 reductase activity. That is to say, a recombinant microorganism may comprise sequence encoding a polypeptide having NADPH-cytochrome p450 reductase activity.

A polypeptide having NADPH-Cytochrome P450 reductase activity (EC 1.6.2.4; also known as NADPH:ferrihemoprotein oxidoreductase, NADPH:hemoprotein oxidoreductase, NADPH:P450 oxidoreductase, P450 reductase, POR, CPR, CYPOR) is typically one which is a membrane-bound enzyme allowing electron transfer to cytochrome P450 in the microsome of the eukaryotic cell from a FAD- and FMN- containing enzyme NADPH:cytochrome P450 reductase (POR; EC 1.6.2.4).

Preferably, a recombinant microorganism, capable of being fermented to prepare a fermentation broth suitable for use in the process of the invention, is capable of expressing one or more of:

a. a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having NADPH- cytochrome p450 reductase activity, wherein said nucleotide sequence comprises:

i. a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having NADPH-cytochrome p450 reductase activity, said polypeptide comprising an amino acid sequence that has at least about 20%, preferably at least 25, 30, 40, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 96, 97, 98, or 99%, sequence identity with the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NOs: 54, 56, 58 or 78;

ii. a nucleotide sequence that has at least about 15%, preferably at least 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 96, 97, 98, or 99%, sequence identity with the nucleotide sequence of SEQ ID NOs: 53, 55, 57 or 77;

iii. a nucleotide sequence the complementary strand of which hybridizes to a nucleic acid molecule of sequence of (i) or (ii); or

iv. a nucleotide sequence which differs from the sequence of a nucleic acid molecule of (i), (ii) or (iii) due to the degeneracy of the genetic code,

Preferably, a recombinant microorganism is one which is capable of expressing one or more of:

a. a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having ent- copalyl pyrophosphate synthase activity, wherein said nucleotide sequence comprises:

i. a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having ent- copalyl pyrophosphate synthase activity, said polypeptide comprising an amino acid sequence that has at least about 20%, preferably at least 25, 30, 40, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 96, 97, 98, or 99%, sequence identity with the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NOs: 2, 4, 6, 8, 18, 20, 60 or 62;

a nucleotide sequence that has at least about 15%, preferably at least 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 96, 97, 98, or 99%, sequence identity with the nucleotide sequence of SEQ ID NOs: 1 , 3, 5, 7, 17, 19, 59 or 61 , 141 , 142, 151 , 152, 153, 154, 159, 160, 182 or 184; a nucleotide sequence the complementary strand of which hybridizes to a nucleic acid molecule of sequence of (i) or (ii); or

a nucleotide sequence which differs from the sequence of a nucleic acid molecule of (i), (ii) or (iii) due to the degeneracy of the genetic code,

a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having ent- synthase activity, wherein said nucleotide sequence comprises: a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having ent- Kaurene synthase activity, said polypeptide comprising an amino acid sequence that has at least about 20%, preferably at least 25, 30, 40, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 96, 97, 98, or 99%, sequence identity with the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NOs: 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 64 or 66; a nucleotide sequence that has at least about 15%, preferably at least 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 96, 97, 98, or 99%, sequence identity with the nucleotide sequence of SEQ ID NOs: 9, 1 1 , 13, 15, 17, 19, 63, 65, 143, 144, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 183 or 184; a nucleotide sequence the complementary strand of which hybridizes to a nucleic acid molecule of sequence of (i) or (ii); or

a nucleotide sequence which differs from the sequence of a nucleic acid molecule of (i), (ii) or (iii) due to the degeneracy of the genetic code, c. a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having ent- Kaurene oxidase activity, wherein said nucleotide sequence comprises: i. a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having ent- Kaurene oxidase activity, said polypeptide comprising an amino acid sequence that has at least about 20%, preferably at least 25, 30, 40, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 96, 97, 98, or 99%, sequence identity with the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NOs: 22, 24, 26, 68 or 86; ii. a nucleotide sequence that has at least about 15%, preferably at least 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 96, 97, 98, or 99%, sequence identity with the nucleotide sequence of SEQ ID NOs: 21 , 23, 25, 67, 85, 145, 161 , 162, 163, 180 or 186;

iii. a nucleotide sequence the complementary strand of which hybridizes to a nucleic acid molecule of sequence of (i) or (ii); or

iv. a nucleotide sequence which differs from the sequence of a nucleic acid molecule of (i), (ii) or (iii) due to the degeneracy of the genetic code; or

d. a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having kaurenoic acid 13-hydroxylase activity, wherein said nucleotide sequence comprises:

i. a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having kaurenoic acid 13-hydroxylase activity, said polypeptide comprising an amino acid sequence that has at least about 20%, preferably at least 25, 30, 40, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 96, 97, 98, or 99%, sequence identity with the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NOs: 28, 30, 32, 34, 70, 90, 92, 94, 96 or 98;

ii. a nucleotide sequence that has at least about 15%, preferably at least 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 96, 97, 98, or 99%, sequence identity with the nucleotide sequence of SEQ ID NOs: 27, 29, 31 , 33, 69, 89, 91 , 93, 95, 97, 146, 164, 165, 166, 167 or 185; iii. a nucleotide sequence the complementary strand of which hybridizes to a nucleic acid molecule of sequence of (i) or (ii); or

iv. a nucleotide sequence which differs from the sequence of a nucleic acid molecule of (i), (ii) or (iii) due to the degeneracy of the genetic code.

In a recombinant microorganism which is capable of expressing a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide capable of catalyzing the addition of a C-13-glucose to steviol, said nucleotide may comprise:

i. a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide capable of catalyzing the addition of a C-13-glucose to steviol, said polypeptide comprising an amino acid sequence that has at least about 20%, preferably at least 25, 30, 40, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 96, 97, 98, or 99%, sequence identity with the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NOs: 36, 38 or 72;

ii. a nucleotide sequence that has at least about 15%, preferably at least 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 96, 97, 98, or 99%, sequence identity with the nucleotide sequence of SEQ ID NOs: 35, 37, 71 , 147, 168, 169 or 189;

iii. a nucleotide sequence the complementary strand of which hybridizes to a nucleic acid molecule of sequence of (i) or (ii); or

iv. a nucleotide sequence which differs from the sequence of a nucleic acid molecule of (i), (ii) or (iii) due to the degeneracy of the genetic code.

In a recombinant microorganism which is capable of expressing a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide capable of catalyzing the addition of a glucose at the C-13 position of steviolmonoside (this typically indicates glucosylation of the C-2' of the C-13-glucose/13-0-glucose of steviolmonoside), said nucleotide sequence may comprise:

i. a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide capable of catalyzing the addition of a C-13-glucose to steviol or steviolmonoside, said polypeptide comprising an amino acid sequence that has at least about 20%, preferably at least 25, 30, 40, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 96, 97, 98, or 99%, sequence identity with the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NOs: 88, 100, 102, 104, 106, 108, 1 10 or 1 12;

ii. a nucleotide sequence that has at least about 15%, preferably at least 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 96, 97, 98, or 99%, sequence identity with the nucleotide sequence of SEQ ID NOs: 87, 99, 101 , 103, 105, 107, 109, 1 1 1 , 181 or 192;

iii. a nucleotide sequence the complementary strand of which hybridizes to a nucleic acid molecule of sequence of (i) or (ii); or

iv. a nucleotide sequence which differs from the sequence of a nucleic acid molecule of (i), (ii) or (iii) due to the degeneracy of the genetic code.

In a recombinant microorganism which is capable of expressing a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide capable of catalyzing the addition of a glucose at the C-19 position of steviolbioside, said nucleotide sequence may comprise:

i. a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide capable of catalyzing the addition of a glucose at the C-19 position of steviolbioside, said polypeptide comprising an amino acid sequence that has at least about 20% sequence identity with the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NOs: 40, 42, 44, 46, 48 or 74;

ii. a nucleotide sequence that has at least about 15% sequence identity with the nucleotide sequence of SEQ ID NOs: 39, 41 , 43, 45, 47, 73, 148, 170, 171 , 172, 173, 174 or 190 ;

iii. a nucleotide sequence the complementary strand of which hybridizes to a nucleic acid molecule of sequence of (i) or (ii); or

iv. a nucleotide sequence which differs from the sequence of a nucleic acid molecule of (i), (ii) or (iii) due to the degeneracy of the genetic code. In a recombinant microorganism which expresses a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide capable of catalyzing glucosylation of the C-3' of the glucose at the C-13 position of stevioside, said nucleotide sequence may comprise:

i. a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide capable of catalyzing glucosylation of the C-3' of the glucose at the C- 13 position of stevioside, said polypeptide comprising an amino acid sequence that has at least about 20%, preferably at least 25, 30, 40, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 96, 97, 98, or 99%, sequence identity with the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NOs: 50, 52 or 76;

ii. a nucleotide sequence that has at least about 15%, preferably at least 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 96, 97, 98, or 99%, sequence identity with the nucleotide sequence of SEQ ID NOs: 49, 51 , 75, 149, 175, 176 or 191 ;

iii. a nucleotide sequence the complementary strand of which hybridizes to a nucleic acid molecule of sequence of (i) or (ii); or

iv. a nucleotide sequence which differs from the sequence of a nucleic acid molecule of (i), (ii) or (iii) due to the degeneracy of the genetic code.

In a recombinant microorganism which expresses a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide capable of catalysing one or more of: the glucosylation of stevioside or rebaudioside A to rebaudioside D; the glucosylation of stevioside to rebaudioside E; or the glucosylation of rebaudioside E to rebaudioside D, said nucleotide sequence may comprise:

i. a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide capable of catalysing one or more of: the glucosylation of stevioside or rebaudioside A to rebaudioside D; the glucosylation of stevioside to rebaudioside E; or the glucosylation of rebaudioside E to rebaudioside D, said polypeptide comprising an amino acid sequence that has at least about 20% sequence identity with the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NOs: 88, 100, 102, 104, 106, 108, 1 10, 1 12; ii. a nucleotide sequence that has at least about 15% sequence identity with the nucleotide sequence of SEQ ID NOs: 87, 99, 101 , 103, 105, 107, 109, 1 1 1 , 181 or 192;

iii. a nucleotide sequence the complementary strand of which hybridizes to a nucleic acid molecule of sequence of (i) or (ii); or

iv. a nucleotide sequence which differs from the sequence of a nucleic acid molecule of (i), (ii) or (iii) due to the degeneracy of the genetic code.

A suitable microorganism may be one in which the ability of the microorganism to produce geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate (GGPP) is upregulated. Upregulated in the context of this invention implies that the microorganism produces more GGPP than an equivalent non-transformed strain.

Accordingly, a suitable recombinant microorganism may comprise one or more nucleotide sequence(s) encoding hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase, farnesyl- pyrophosphate synthetase and geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase, whereby the nucleotide sequence(s) upon transformation of the microorganism confer(s) on the microorganism the ability to produce elevated levels of GGPP.

Preferably, a suitable recombinant microorganism is one which is capable of expressing one or more of:

a. a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase activity, wherein said nucleotide sequence comprises:

i. a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase activity, said polypeptide comprising an amino acid sequence that has at least about 20% sequence identity with the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 80;

ii. a nucleotide sequence that has at least about 15% sequence identity with the nucleotide sequence of SEQ ID NO: 79; iii. a nucleotide sequence the complementary strand of which hybridizes to a nucleic acid molecule of sequence of (i) or (ii); or iv. a nucleotide sequence which differs from the sequence of a nucleic acid molecule of (i), (ii) or (iii) due to the degeneracy of the genetic code,

b. a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having farnesyl- pyrophosphate synthetase activity, wherein said nucleotide sequence comprises:

i. a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having farnesyl-pyrophosphate synthetase activity, said polypeptide comprising an amino acid sequence that has at least about 20% sequence identity with the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 82;

ii. a nucleotide sequence that has at least about 15% sequence identity with the nucleotide sequence of SEQ ID NOs: 81 ; iii. a nucleotide sequence the complementary strand of which hybridizes to a nucleic acid molecule of sequence of (i) or (ii); or

iv. a nucleotide sequence which differs from the sequence of a nucleic acid molecule of (iii) due to the degeneracy of the genetic code; or

c. a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase activity, wherein said nucleotide sequence comprises:

i. a nucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide having geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase activity, said polypeptide comprising an amino acid sequence that has at least about 20% sequence identity with the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 84;

ii. a nucleotide sequence that has at least about 15% sequence identity with the nucleotide sequence of SEQ ID NOs: 83; iii. a nucleotide sequence the complementary strand of which hybridizes to a nucleic acid molecule of sequence of (i) or (ii); or iv. a nucleotide sequence which differs from the sequence of a nucleic acid molecule of (i), (ii) or (iii) due to the degeneracy of the genetic code.

A microorganism or microbe, for the purposes of this invention, is typically an organism that is not visible to the human eye (i.e. microscopic). A microorganism may be from bacteria, fungi, archaea or protists. Typically a microorganism will be a single- celled or unicellular organism.

As used herein a recombinant microorganism is defined as a microorganism which is genetically modified or transformed/transfected with one or more of the nucleotide sequences as defined herein. The presence of the one or more such nucleotide sequences alters the ability of the microorganism to produce a diterpene or diterpene glycoside, in particular steviol or steviol glycoside. A microorganism that is not transformed/transfected or genetically modified, is not a recombinant microorganism and does typically not comprise one or more of the nucleotide sequences enabling the cell to produce a diterpene or diterpene glycoside. Hence, a non-transformed/non-transfected microorganism is typically a microorganism that does not naturally produce a diterpene, although a microorganism which naturally produces a diterpene or diterpene glycoside and which has been modified, as described herein for example (and which thus has an altered ability to produce a diterpene/diterpene gylcoside), is considered a recombinant microorganism.

Sequence identity is herein defined as a relationship between two or more amino acid (polypeptide or protein) sequences or two or more nucleic acid (polynucleotide) sequences, as determined by comparing the sequences. Usually, sequence identities or similarities are compared over the whole length of the sequences compared. In the art, "identity" also means the degree of sequence relatedness between amino acid or nucleic acid sequences, as the case may be, as determined by the match between strings of such sequences. "Identity" and "similarity" can be readily calculated by various methods, known to those skilled in the art. Preferred methods to determine identity are designed to give the largest match between the sequences tested. Typically then, identities and similarities are calculated over the entire length of the sequences being compared. Methods to determine identity and similarity are codified in publicly available computer programs. Preferred computer program methods to determine identity and similarity between two sequences include e.g. the BestFit, BLASTP, BLASTN, and FASTA (Altschul, S. F. et al., J. Mol. Biol. 215:403-410 (1990), publicly available from NCBI and other sources (BLAST Manual, Altschul, S., et al., NCBI NLM NIH Bethesda, MD 20894). Preferred parameters for amino acid sequences comparison using BLASTP are gap open 10.0, gap extend 0.5, Blosum 62 matrix. Preferred parameters for nucleic acid sequences comparison using BLASTP are gap open 10.0, gap extend 0.5, DNA full matrix (DNA identity matrix).

Nucleotide sequences encoding the enzymes expressed in the cells described herein may also be defined by their capability to hybridize with the nucleotide sequences of SEQ ID NO.'s 1 , 3, 5, 7, 9, 1 1 , 13, 15, 17, 19, 21 , 23, 25, 27, 29, 31 , 33, 35, 37, 39, 41 , 43, 45, 47, 49, 51 , 53, 55, 57, 59, 61 , 63, 65, 67, 69, 71 , 73, 75, 77, 79, 81 or 84 ir any other sequence mentioned herein respectively, under moderate, or preferably under stringent hybridisation conditions. Stringent hybridisation conditions are herein defined as conditions that allow a nucleic acid sequence of at least about 25, preferably about 50 nucleotides, 75 or 100 and most preferably of about 200 or more nucleotides, to hybridise at a temperature of about 65°C in a solution comprising about 1 M salt, preferably 6 x SSC or any other solution having a comparable ionic strength, and washing at 65°C in a solution comprising about 0.1 M salt, or less, preferably 0.2 x SSC or any other solution having a comparable ionic strength. Preferably, the hybridisation is performed overnight, i.e. at least for 10 hours and preferably washing is performed for at least one hour with at least two changes of the washing solution. These conditions will usually allow the specific hybridisation of sequences having about 90% or more sequence identity.

Moderate conditions are herein defined as conditions that allow a nucleic acid sequences of at least 50 nucleotides, preferably of about 200 or more nucleotides, to hybridise at a temperature of about 45°C in a solution comprising about 1 M salt, preferably 6 x SSC or any other solution having a comparable ionic strength, and washing at room temperature in a solution comprising about 1 M salt, preferably 6 x SSC or any other solution having a comparable ionic strength. Preferably, the hybridisation is performed overnight, i.e. at least for 10 hours, and preferably washing is performed for at least one hour with at least two changes of the washing solution. These conditions will usually allow the specific hybridisation of sequences having up to 50% sequence identity. The person skilled in the art will be able to modify these hybridisation conditions in order to specifically identify sequences varying in identity between 50% and 90%.

The nucleotide sequences encoding an ent-copalyl pyrophosphate synthase; ent- Kaurene synthase; ent-Kaurene oxidase; kaurenoic acid 13-hydroxylase; UGT; hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase, farnesyl-pyrophosphate synthetase; geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase; NADPH-cytochrome p450 reductase, may be from prokaryotic or eukaryotic origin.

A nucleotide sequence encoding an ent-copalyl pyrophosphate synthase may for instance comprise a sequence as set out in SEQ ID. NO: 1 , 3, 5, 7, 17, 19, 59, 61 , 141 , 142, 151 , 152, 153, 154, 159, 160, 182 or 184.

A nucleotide sequence encoding an ent-Kaurene synthase may for instance comprise a sequence as set out in SEQ ID. NO: 9, 1 1 , 13, 15, 17, 19, 63, 65, 143, 144, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 183 or 184.

A nucleotide sequence encoding an ent-Kaurene oxidase may for instance comprise a sequence as set out in SEQ ID. NO: 21 , 23, 25, 67, 85, 145, 161 , 162, 163, 180 or 186. A preferred KO is the polypeptide encoded by the nucleic acid set out in SEQ ID NO: 85.

A nucleotide sequence encoding a kaurenoic acid 13-hydroxylase may for instance comprise a sequence as set out in SEQ ID. NO: 27, 29, 31 , 33, 69, 89, 91 , 93, 95, 97, 146, 164, 165, 166, 167 or 185. A preferred KAH sequence is the polypeptide encoded by the nucleic acid set out in SEQ ID NO: 33.

A suitable recombinant microorganism may express a combination of the polypeptides encoded by SEQ ID NO: 85 and SEQ ID NO: 33 or a variant of either thereof as herein described. A preferred recombinant microorganism may express the combination of sequences set out in Table 8 (in combination with any UGT2, but in particular that encoded by SEQ ID NO: 87).

A nucleotide sequence encoding a UGT may for instance comprise a sequence as set out in SEQ ID. NO: 35, 37, 39, 41 , 43, 45, 47, 49, 51 , 71 , 73, 75, 168, 169, 170, 171 , 172, 173, 174, 175, 176, 147, 148, 149, 87, 181 , 99, 100, 101 , 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 1 10, 1 1 1 , 1 12, 1 13, 1 14, 1 15, 1 16, 1 17, 1 18, 1 19, 120, 121 , 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131 , 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 189, 190, 191 or 192.

A nucleotide sequence encoding a hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase may for instance comprise a sequence as set out in SEQ ID. NO: 79.

A nucleotide sequence encoding a farnesyl-pyrophosphate synthetase may for instance comprise a sequence as set out in SEQ ID. NO: 81.

A nucleotide sequence encoding a geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase may for instance comprise a sequence as set out in SEQ ID. NO:83. A nucleotide sequence encoding a NADPH-cytochrome p450 reductase may for instance comprise a sequence as set out in SEQ ID. NO: 53, 55, 57 or 77.

In the case of the UGT sequences, combinations of at least one from each of: (i) SEQ ID NOs: 35, 37, 168, 169, 71 , 147 or 189; (ii) SEQ ID NOs: 87, 99, 101 , 103, 105, 107, 109, 1 1 1 , 181 or 192; (iii) SEQ ID NOs: 39, 41 , 43, 45, 47, 170, 171 , 172, 173, 174, 73, 148 or 190; and (iv) SEQ ID NOs: 49, 51 , 175, 176, 75, 149 or 191 may be preferred. Typically, at least one UGT from group (i) may be used. If at least one UGT from group (iii) is used, generally at least one UGT from group (i) is also used. If at least one UGT from group (iv) is used, generally at least one UGT from group (i) and at least one UGT from group (iii) is used. Typically, at least one UGT form group (ii) is used.

A sequence which has at least about 10%, about 15%, about 20%, preferably at least about 25%, about 30%, about 40%, about 50%, about 55%, about 60%, about 65%, about 70%, about 75%, about 80%, about 85%, about 90%, about 95%, about 96%, about 97%, about 98%, or about 99% sequence identity with a sequence as mentioned may be used in the invention.

To increase the likelihood that the introduced enzymes are expressed in active form in a recombinant microorganism, the corresponding encoding nucleotide sequence may be adapted to optimise its codon usage to that of the chosen eukaryote host cell. The adaptiveness of the nucleotide sequences encoding the enzymes to the codon usage of the chosen host cell may be expressed as codon adaptation index (CAI). The codon adaptation index is herein defined as a measurement of the relative adaptiveness of the codon usage of a gene towards the codon usage of highly expressed genes. The relative adaptiveness (w) of each codon is the ratio of the usage of each codon, to that of the most abundant codon for the same amino acid. The CAI index is defined as the geometric mean of these relative adaptiveness values. Non-synonymous codons and termination codons (dependent on genetic code) are excluded. CAI values range from 0 to 1 , with higher values indicating a higher proportion of the most abundant codons (see Sharp and Li, 1987, Nucleic Acids Research 15: 1281 -1295; also see: Jansen et al., 2003, Nucleic Acids Res. 31 (8):2242-51 ). An adapted nucleotide sequence preferably has a CAI of at least 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6 or 0.7.

In a preferred embodiment the recombinant is genetically modified with (a) nucleotide sequence(s) which is (are) adapted to the codon usage of the eukaryotic cell using codon pair optimisation technology as disclosed in PCT/EP2007/05594. Codon- pair optimisation is a method for producing a polypeptide in a host cell, wherein the nucleotide sequences encoding the polypeptide have been modified with respect to their codon-usage, in particular the codon-pairs that are used, to obtain improved expression of the nucleotide sequence encoding the polypeptide and/or improved production of the polypeptide. Codon pairs are defined as a set of two subsequent triplets (codons) in a coding sequence.

Further improvement of the activity of the enzymes in vivo in a recombinant microorganism, can be obtained by well-known methods like error prone PCR or directed evolution. A preferred method of directed evolution is described in WO03010183 and WO0301031 1 .

A suitable recombinant microorganism may be any suitable host cell from microbial origin. Preferably, the host cell is a yeast or a filamentous fungus. More preferably, the host cell belongs to one of the genera Saccharomyces, Aspergillus, Penicillium, Pichia, Kluyveromyces, Yarrowia, Candida, Hansenula, Humicola, Torulaspora, Trichosporon, Brettanomyces, Pachysolen or Yamadazyma or Zygosaccharomyces.

A more preferred microorganism belongs to the species Aspergillus niger, Penicillium chrysogenum, Pichia stipidis, Kluyveromyces marxianus, K. lactis, K. thermotolerans, Yarrowia lipolytica, Candida sonorensis, C. glabrata, Hansenula polymorpha, Torulaspora delbrueckii, Brettanomyces bruxellensis, Zygosaccharomyces bailii, Saccharomyces uvarum, Saccharomyces bayanus or Saccharomyces cerevisiae species. Preferably, the eukaryotic cell is a Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

A recombinant yeast cell may be modified so that the ERG9 gene is down- regulated and or the ERG5/ERG6 genes are deleted. Corresponding genes may be modified in this way in other microorganisms.

Such a microorganism may be transformed, whereby the nucleotide sequence(s) with which the microorganism is transformed confer(s) on the cell the ability to produce a diterpene or glycoside thereof.

A preferred suitable recombinant microorganism is a yeast, such as a Saccharomyces cerevisiae or Yarrowia lipolytica cell. A recombinant microorganism, such as a recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell or Yarrowia lipolytica cell may comprise one or more nucleotide sequence(s) from each of the following groups;

(i) SEQ ID. NO: 1 , 3, 5, 7, 17, 19, 59, 61 , 141 , 142, 152, 153, 154, 159, 160, 182 or 184. (ii) SEQ ID. NO: 9, 1 1 , 13, 15, 17, 19, 63, 65, 143, 144, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 183 or 184.

(iii) SEQ ID. NO: 21 , 23, 25, 67 85, 145, 161 , 162, 163, 180 or 186.

(iv) SEQ ID. NO: 27, 29, 31 , 33, 69, 89, 91 , 93, 95, 97, 146, 164, 165, 166, 167 or

185.

Such a microorganism will typically also comprise one or more nucleotide sequence(s) as set out in SEQ ID. NO: 53, 55, 57 or 77.

Such a microorganism may also comprise one or more nucleotide sequences as set out in 35, 37, 39, 41 , 43, 45, 47, 49, 51 , 71 , 73, 75, 168, 169, 170, 171 , 172, 173, 174, 175, 176, 147, 148, 149, 87, 181 , 99, 100, 101 , 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 1 10, 1 1 1 , 1 12, 1 13, 1 14, 1 15, 1 16, 1 17, 1 18, 1 19, 120, 121 , 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131 , 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 189, 190, 191 or 192. In the case of these sequences, combinations of at least one from each of (i) SEQ ID NOs: 35, 37, 168, 169, 71 , 147 or 189; (ii) SEQ ID NOs: 87, 99, 101 , 103, 105, 107, 109, 1 1 1 , 181 or 192; (iii) SEQ ID NOs: 39, 41 , 43, 45, 47, 170, 171 , 172, 173, 174, 73, 148 or 190; and (iv) SEQ ID NOs: 49, 51 , 175, 176, 75, 149 or 191 may be preferred. Typically, at least one UGT from group (i) may be used. If at least one UGT from group (iii) is used, generally at least one UGT from group (i) is also used. If at least one UGT from group (iv) is used, generally at least one UGT from group (i) and at least one UGT from group (iii) is used. Typically, at least one UGT form group (ii) is used.

Such a microorganism may also comprise the following nucleotide sequences: SEQ ID. NO: 79; SEQ ID. NO: 81 ; and SEQ ID. NO: 83.

For each sequence set out above (or any sequence mentioned herein), a variant having at least about 15%, preferably at least about 20, about 25, about 30, about 40, about 50, about 55, about 60, about 65, about 70, about 75, about 80, about 85, about 90, about 95, about 96, about 97, about 98, or about 99%, sequence identity with the stated sequence may be used.

The nucleotide sequences encoding the ent-copalyl pyrophosphate synthase, ent-Kaurene synthase, ent-Kaurene oxidase, kaurenoic acid 13-hydroxylase, UGTs, hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase, farnesyl-pyrophosphate synthetase, geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase and NADPH-cytochrome p450 reductase may be ligated into one or more nucleic acid constructs to facilitate the transformation of the microorganism. A nucleic acid construct may be a plasmid carrying the genes encoding enzymes of the diterpene, eg. steviol/steviol glycoside, pathway as described above, or a nucleic acid construct may comprise two or three plasmids carrying each three or two genes, respectively, encoding the enzymes of the diterpene pathway distributed in any appropriate way.

Any suitable plasmid may be used, for instance a low copy plasmid or a high copy plasmid.

It may be possible that the enzymes selected from the group consisting of ent- copalyl pyrophosphate synthase, ent-Kaurene synthase, ent-Kaurene oxidase, and kaurenoic acid 13-hydroxylase, UGTs, hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase, farnesyl- pyrophosphate synthetase, geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase and NADPH- cytochrome p450 reductase are native to the host microorganism and that transformation with one or more of the nucleotide sequences encoding these enzymes may not be required to confer the host cell the ability to produce a diterpene or diterpene glycosidase. Further improvement of diterpene/diterpene glycosidase production by the host microorganism may be obtained by classical strain improvement.

The nucleic acid construct may be maintained episomally and thus comprise a sequence for autonomous replication, such as an autosomal replication sequence sequence. If the host cell is of fungal origin, a suitable episomal nucleic acid construct may e.g. be based on the yeast 2μ or pKD1 plasmids (Gleer et al., 1991 , Biotechnology 9: 968-975), or the AMA plasmids (Fierro et al., 1995, Curr Genet. 29:482-489).

Alternatively, each nucleic acid construct may be integrated in one or more copies into the genome of the host cell. Integration into the host cell's genome may occur at random by non-homologous recombination but preferably the nucleic acid construct may be integrated into the host cell's genome by homologous recombination as is well known in the art (see e.g. WO90/14423, EP-A-0481008, EP-A-0635 574 and US 6,265,186).

Optionally, a selectable marker may be present in the nucleic acid construct. As used herein, the term "marker" refers to a gene encoding a trait or a phenotype which permits the selection of, or the screening for, a microorganism containing the marker. The marker gene may be an antibiotic resistance gene whereby the appropriate antibiotic can be used to select for transformed cells from among cells that are not transformed. Alternatively or also, non-antibiotic resistance markers are used, such as auxotrophic markers (URA3, TRP1 , LEU2). The host cells transformed with the nucleic acid constructs may be marker gene free. Methods for constructing recombinant marker gene free microbial host cells are disclosed in EP-A-0 635 574 and are based on the use of bidirectional markers. Alternatively, a screenable marker such as Green Fluorescent Protein, /acZ, luciferase, chloramphenicol acetyltransferase, beta-glucuronidase may be incorporated into the nucleic acid constructs allowing for screening for transformed cells. A preferred marker-free method for the introduction of heterologous polynucleotides is described in WO0540186.

In a preferred embodiment, the nucleotide sequences encoding ent-copalyl pyrophosphate synthase, ent-Kaurene synthase, ent-Kaurene oxidase, and kaurenoic acid 13-hydroxylase, UGTs, hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase, farnesyl- pyrophosphate synthetase ,geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase and NADPH- cytochrome p450 reductase, are each operably linked to a promoter that causes sufficient expression of the corresponding nucleotide sequences in the recombinant microorganism to confer to the cell the ability to produce a diterpene or diterpene glycoside.

As used herein, the term "operably linked" refers to a linkage of polynucleotide elements (or coding sequences or nucleic acid sequence) in a functional relationship. A nucleic acid sequence is "operably linked" when it is placed into a functional relationship with another nucleic acid sequence. For instance, a promoter or enhancer is operably linked to a coding sequence if it affects the transcription of the coding sequence.

As used herein, the term "promoter" refers to a nucleic acid fragment that functions to control the transcription of one or more genes, located upstream with respect to the direction of transcription of the transcription initiation site of the gene, and is structurally identified by the presence of a binding site for DNA-dependent RNA polymerase, transcription initiation sites and any other DNA sequences, including, but not limited to transcription factor binding sites, repressor and activator protein binding sites, and any other sequences of nucleotides known to one of skilled in the art to act directly or indirectly to regulate the amount of transcription from the promoter. A "constitutive" promoter is a promoter that is active under most environmental and developmental conditions. An "inducible" promoter is a promoter that is active under environmental or developmental regulation.

The promoter that could be used to achieve the expression of the nucleotide sequences coding for an enzyme as defined herein above, may be not native to the nucleotide sequence coding for the enzyme to be expressed, i.e. a promoter that is heterologous to the nucleotide sequence (coding sequence) to which it is operably linked. Preferably, the promoter is homologous, i.e. endogenous to the host cell

Suitable promoters for use in recombinant microorganisms may be GAL7, GAL10, or GAL 1 , CYC1 , HIS3, ADH1 , PGL, PH05, GAPDH, ADC1 , TRP1 , URA3, LEU2, ENO, TPI, and AOX1. Other suitable promoters include PDC, GPD1 , PGK1 , TEF1 , and TDH.

Any terminator, which is functional in the cell, may be used. Preferred terminators are obtained from natural genes of the host cell. Suitable terminator sequences are well known in the art. Preferably, such terminators are combined with mutations that prevent nonsense mediated mRNA decay in the host cell (see for example: Shirley et al., 2002, Genetics 161 :1465-1482).

Nucleotide sequences used may include sequences which target them to desired compartments of the microorganism. For example, in a preferred recombinant microorganism, all nucleotide sequences, except for ent-Kaurene oxidase, kaurenoic acid 13-hydroxylase and NADPH-cytochrome p450 reductase encoding sequences may be targeted to the cytosol. This approach may be used in a yeast cell.

The term "homologous" when used to indicate the relation between a given (recombinant) nucleic acid or polypeptide molecule and a given host organism or host cell, is understood to mean that in nature the nucleic acid or polypeptide molecule is produced by a host cell or organisms of the same species, preferably of the same variety or strain.

The term "heterologous" when used with respect to a nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) or protein refers to a nucleic acid or protein that does not occur naturally as part of the organism, cell, genome or DNA or RNA sequence in which it is present, or that is found in a cell or location or locations in the genome or DNA or RNA sequence that differ from that in which it is found in nature. Heterologous nucleic acids or proteins are not endogenous to the cell into which it is introduced, but have been obtained from another cell or synthetically or recombinantly produced.

Typically, a suitable recombinant microorganism will comprise heterologous nucleotide sequences. Alternatively, a recombinant microorganism may comprise entirely homologous sequence which has been modified as set out herein so that the microorganism produces increased amounts of a diterpene and/or diterpene glycoside in comparison to a non-modified version of the same microorganism. One or more enzymes of the diterpene pathway as described herein may be overexpressed to achieve a sufficient diterpene production by the cell.

There are various means available in the art for overexpression of enzymes in the host cell. In particular, an enzyme may be overexpressed by increasing the copy number of the gene coding for the enzyme in the host cell, e.g. by integrating additional copies of the gene in the host cell's genome.

A preferred recombinant microorganism may be a recombinant microorganism which is naturally capable of producing GGPP.

A suitable recombinant microorganism may be able to grow on any suitable carbon source known in the art and convert it to one or more steviol glycosides. The recombinant microorganism may be able to convert directly plant biomass, celluloses, hemicelluloses, pectines, rhamnose, galactose, fucose, maltose, maltodextrines, ribose, ribulose, or starch, starch derivatives, sucrose, lactose and glycerol. Hence, a preferred host organism expresses enzymes such as cellulases (endocellulases and exocellulases) and hemicellulases (e.g. endo- and exo-xylanases, arabinases) necessary for the conversion of cellulose into glucose monomers and hemicellulose into xylose and arabinose monomers, pectinases able to convert pectines into glucuronic acid and galacturonic acid or amylases to convert starch into glucose monomers. Preferably, the host cell is able to convert a carbon source selected from the group consisting of glucose, xylose, arabinose, sucrose, lactose and glycerol. The host cell may for instance be a eukaryotic host cell as described in WO03/062430, WO06/009434, EP1499708B1 , WO2006096130 or WO04/099381 .

A recombinant microorganism as described above may be used in a process for the production of a steviol glycoside, which method comprises fermenting a transformed a suitable recombinant microorganism (as described herein) in a suitable fermentation medium, and optionally recovering the diterpene and/or diterpene glycoside.

The fermentation medium used in the process for the production of a diterpene or diterpene glycoside may be any suitable fermentation medium which allows growth of a particular eukaryotic host cell. The essential elements of the fermentation medium are known to the person skilled in the art and may be adapted to the host cell selected.

Preferably, the fermentation medium comprises a carbon source selected from the group consisting of plant biomass, celluloses, hemicelluloses, pectines, rhamnose, galactose, fucose, fructose, maltose, maltodextrines, ribose, ribulose, or starch, starch derivatives, sucrose, lactose, fatty acids, triglycerides and glycerol. Preferably, the fermentation medium also comprises a nitrogen source such as ureum, or an ammonium salt such as ammonium sulphate, ammonium chloride, ammoniumnitrate or ammonium phosphate.

A suitable fermentation process may be carried out in batch, fed-batch or continuous mode. A separate hydrolysis and fermentation (SHF) process or a simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) process may also be applied. A combination of these fermentation process modes may also be possible for optimal productivity. A SSF process may be particularly attractive if starch, cellulose, hemicelluose or pectin is used as a carbon source in the fermentation process, where it may be necessary to add hydrolytic enzymes, such as cellulases, hemicellulases or pectinases to hydrolyse the substrate.

The recombinant microorganism used in the process for the preparation of a steviol glycoside may be any suitable microorganism as defined herein above. It may be advantageous to use a recombinant eukaryotic microorganism as described herein in the process for the production of a diterpene or diterpene glycoside, because most eukaryotic cells do not require sterile conditions for propagation and are insensitive to bacteriophage infections. In addition, eukaryotic host cells may be grown at low pH to prevent bacterial contamination.

The recombinant microorganism may be a facultative anaerobic microorganism. A facultative anaerobic microorganism can be propagated aerobically to a high cell concentration. This anaerobic phase can then be carried out at high cell density which reduces the fermentation volume required substantially, and may minimize the risk of contamination with aerobic microorganisms.

The fermentation process for the production of a steviol glycoside may be an aerobic or an anaerobic fermentation process.

An anaerobic fermentation process may be herein defined as a fermentation process run in the absence of oxygen or in which substantially no oxygen is consumed, preferably less than 5, 2.5 or 1 mmol/L/h, and wherein organic molecules serve as both electron donor and electron acceptors. The fermentation process may also first be run under aerobic conditions and subsequently under anaerobic conditions.

The fermentation process may also be run under oxygen-limited, or micro- aerobical, conditions. Alternatively, the fermentation process may first be run under aerobic conditions and subsequently under oxygen-limited conditions. An oxygen-limited fermentation process is a process in which the oxygen consumption is limited by the oxygen transfer from the gas to the liquid. The degree of oxygen limitation is determined by the amount and composition of the ingoing gas flow as well as the actual mixing/mass transfer properties of the fermentation equipment used.

The production of a steviol glycoside in the fermentation process may occur during the growth phase of the host cell, during the stationary (steady state) phase or during both phases. It may be possible to run the fermentation process at different temperatures.

The process for the production of a steviol glycoside may be run at a temperature which is optimal for the recombinant microorganism. The optimum growth temperature may differ for each transformed cell and is known to the person skilled in the art. The optimum temperature might be higher than optimal for wild type organisms to grow the organism efficiently under non-sterile conditions under minimal infection sensitivity and lowest cooling cost. Alternatively, the process may be carried out at a temperature which is not optimal for growth of the recombinant microorganism.

The temperature for growth of the recombinant microorganism in a process for production of a diterpene or diterpene glycoside may be above 20°C, 22°C, 25°C, 28°C, or above 30°C, 35°C, or above 37°C, 40°C, 42°C, and preferably below 45°C. During the production phase of a diterpene or diterpene glycoside however, the optimum temperature might be lower than average in order to optimize biomass stability. The temperature during this phase may be below 45°C, for instance below 42°C, 40°C, 37°C, for instance below 35°C, 30°C, or below 28°C, 25°C, 22°C or below 20°C preferably above 15°C.

The process for the production of a steviol glycoside may be carried out at any suitable pH value. If the recombinant microorganism is yeast, the pH in the fermentation medium preferably has a value of below 6, preferably below 5,5, preferably below 5, preferably below 4,5, preferably below 4, preferably below pH 3,5 or below pH 3,0, or below pH 2,5, preferably above pH 2. An advantage of carrying out the fermentation at these low pH values is that growth of contaminant bacteria in the fermentation medium may be prevented.

Such a process may be carried out on an industrial scale.

The product of such a process may be one or more of steviolmonoside, steviolbioside, stevioside or rebaudioside A, rebaudioside B, rebaudioside C, rebaudioside D, rebaudioside E, rebaudioside F, rubusoside, dulcoside A. Preferably, rebaudioside A or rebaudioside D is produced.

Recovery of the diterpene or diterpene glycoside from the resulting broth may be carried out according to the invention.

In the process for the fermentative production of a steviol glycoside, it may be possible to achieve a concentration of above 5 mg/l fermentation broth, preferably above 10 mg/l, preferably above 20 mg/l, preferably above 30 mg/l fermentation broth, preferably above 40 mg/l, more preferably above 50 mg/l, preferably above 60 mg/l, preferably above 70, preferably above 80 mg/l, preferably above 100 mg/l, preferably above 1 g/l, preferably above 5 g/l, preferably above 10 g/l, but usually below 70 g/l in the broth.

As described above, in the event that a diterpene or diterpene glycoside is expressed within the microorganism, such cells may need to be treated so as to release the steviol glycoside.

The solution and/or composition according to the invention may be used in any application known for steviol glycosides. In particular, they may for instance be used as a sweetener, for example in a food or a beverage. For example steviol glycosides may be formulated in soft drinks, as a tabletop sweetener, chewing gum, dairy product such as yoghurt (eg. plain yoghurt), cake, cereal or cereal-based food, nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, edible gel, confectionery product, cosmetic, toothpastes or other oral cavity composition, etc. In addition, a steviol glycoside can be used as a sweetener not only for drinks, foodstuffs, and other products dedicated for human consumption, but also in animal feed and fodder with improved characteristics.

During the manufacturing of foodstuffs, drinks, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, table top products, chewing gum the conventional methods such as mixing, kneading, dissolution, pickling, permeation, percolation, sprinkling, atomizing, infusing and other methods can be used.

The solution and/or composition obtained in this invention can be used in dry or liquid forms. It can be added before or after heat treatment of food products. The amount of the sweetener depends on the purpose of usage. It can be added alone or in the combination with other compounds.

Solutions and compositions produced according to the recovery method of the invention may be blended with one or more further non-calorific or calorific sweeteners. Such blending may be used to improve flavour or temporal profile or stability. A wide range of both non-calorific and calorific sweeteners may be suitable for blending with steviol glycosides. For example, non-calorific sweeteners such as mogroside, monatin, aspartame, acesulfame salts, cyclamate, sucralose, saccharin salts or erythritol. Calorific sweeteners suitable for blending with steviol glycosides include sugar alcohols and carbohydrates such as sucrose, glucose, fructose and HFCS. Sweet tasting amino acids such as glycine, alanine or serine may also be used.

The steviol glycoside can be used in the combination with a sweetener suppressor, such as a natural sweetener suppressor. It may be combined with an umami taste enhancer, such as an amino acid or a salt thereof.

A steviol glycoside can be combined with a polyol or sugar alcohol, a carbohydrate, a physiologically active substance or functional ingredient (for example a carotenoid, dietary fiber, fatty acid, saponin, antioxidant, nutraceutical, flavonoid, isothiocyanate, phenol, plant sterol or stanol (phytosterols and phytostanols), a polyols, a prebiotic, a probiotic, a phytoestrogen, soy protein, sulfides/thiols, amino acids, a protein, a vitamin, a mineral, and/or a substance classified based on a health benefits, such as cardiovascular, cholesterol-reducing or anti-inflammatory.

A composition or solution according to the invention may include a flavoring agent, an aroma component, a nucleotide, an organic acid, an organic acid salt, an inorganic acid, a bitter compound, a protein or protein hydrolyzate, a surfactant, a flavonoid, an astringent compound, a vitamin, a dietary fiber, an antioxidant, a fatty acid and/or a salt.

A composition or solution of the invention may be applied as a high intensity sweetener to produce zero calorie, reduced calorie or diabetic beverages and food products with improved taste characteristics. Also it can be used in drinks, foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, and other products in which sugar cannot be used.

In addition, a composition or solution of the invention may be used as a sweetener not only for drinks, foodstuffs, and other products dedicated for human consumption, but also in animal feed and fodder with improved characteristics.

The examples of products where a composition or solution of the invention can be used as a sweetening compound can be as alcoholic beverages such as vodka, wine, beer, liquor, sake, etc; natural juices, refreshing drinks, carbonated soft drinks, diet drinks, zero calorie drinks, reduced calorie drinks and foods, yogurt drinks, instant juices, instant coffee, powdered types of instant beverages, canned products, syrups, fermented soybean paste, soy sauce, vinegar, dressings, mayonnaise, ketchups, curry, soup, instant bouillon, powdered soy sauce, powdered vinegar, types of biscuits, rice biscuit, crackers, bread, chocolates, caramel, candy, chewing gum, jelly, pudding, preserved fruits and vegetables, fresh cream, jam, marmalade, flower paste, powdered milk, ice cream, sorbet, vegetables and fruits packed in bottles, canned and boiled beans, meat and foods boiled in sweetened sauce, agricultural vegetable food products, seafood, ham, sausage, fish ham, fish sausage, fish paste, deep fried fish products, dried seafood products, frozen food products, preserved seaweed, preserved meat, tobacco, medicinal products, and many others. In principal it can have unlimited applications.

The sweetened composition comprises a beverage, non-limiting examples of which include non-carbonated and carbonated beverages such as colas, ginger ales, root beers, ciders, fruit-flavored soft drinks (e.g., citrus-flavored soft drinks such as lemon-lime or orange), powdered soft drinks, and the like; fruit juices originating in fruits or vegetables, fruit juices including squeezed juices or the like, fruit juices containing fruit particles, fruit beverages, fruit juice beverages, beverages containing fruit juices, beverages with fruit flavorings, vegetable juices, juices containing vegetables, and mixed juices containing fruits and vegetables; sport drinks, energy drinks, near water and the like drinks (e.g., water with natural or synthetic flavorants); tea type or favorite type beverages such as coffee, cocoa, black tea, green tea, oolong tea and the like; beverages containing milk components such as milk beverages, coffee containing milk components, cafe au lait, milk tea, fruit milk beverages, drinkable yogurt, lactic acid bacteria beverages or the like; and dairy products.

Generally, the amount of sweetener present in a sweetened composition varies widely depending on the particular type of sweetened composition and its desired sweetness. Those of ordinary skill in the art can readily discern the appropriate amount of sweetener to put in the sweetened composition.

The composition or solution of the invention obtained as described herein can be used in dry or liquid forms. It can be added before or after heat treatment of food products. The amount of the sweetener depends on the purpose of usage. It can be added alone or in the combination with other compounds.

During the manufacturing of foodstuffs, drinks, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, table top products, chewing gum the conventional methods such as mixing, kneading, dissolution, pickling, permeation, percolation, sprinkling, atomizing, infusing and other methods can be used. In solid form, a composition of the present invention can be provided to consumers in any form suitable for delivery into the comestible to be sweetened, including sachets, packets, bulk bags or boxes, cubes, tablets, mists, or dissolvable strips. The composition can be delivered as a unit dose or in bulk form.

For liquid sweetener systems and compositions convenient ranges of fluid, semifluid, paste and cream forms, appropriate packing using appropriate packing material in any shape or form shall be invented which is convenient to carry or dispense or store or transport any combination containing any of the above sweetener products or combination of product produced above.

The composition or solution of the invention may include various bulking agents, functional ingredients, colorants, flavors.

A reference herein to a patent document or other matter which is given as prior art is not to be taken as an admission that that document or matter was known or that the information it contains was part of the common general knowledge as at the priority date of any of the claims.

The disclosure of each reference set forth herein is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

The present invention is further illustrated by the following Examples:

EXAMPLES

General

Standard genetic techniques, such as overexpression of enzymes in the host cells, as well as for additional genetic modification of host cells, are known methods in the art, such as described in Sambrook and Russel (2001 ) "Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual (3 rd edition), Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, or F. Ausubel et al, eds., "Current protocols in molecular biology", Green Publishing and Wiley Interscience, New York (1987). Methods for transformation and genetic modification of fungal host cells are known from e.g. EP-A-0 635 574, WO 98/46772, WO 99/60102 and WO 00/37671.

A description of the sequences is set out in Table 1 . Sequences described herein may be defined with reference to the sequence listing or with reference to the database accession numbers also set out in Table 1. Example 1. Over-expression of ERG20, BTS1 and tHMG in S. cerevisiae

For over-expression of ERG20, BTS1 tHMG1 , expression cassettes were designed to be integrated in one locus using technology described in co-pending patent application no. PCT/EP2013/056623. To amplify the 5' and 3' integration flanks for the integration locus, suitable primers and genomic DNA from a CEN.PK yeast strain (van Dijken et al. Enzyme and Microbial Technology 26 (2000) 706-714) was used. The different genes were ordered as cassettes (containing homologous sequence, promoter, gene, terminator, homologous sequence) at DNA2.0. The genes in these cassettes were flanked by constitutive promoters and terminators. See Table 2. Plasmid DNA from DNA2.0 containing the ERG20, tHMG1 and BTS1 cassettes were dissolved to a concentration of 100 ng/μΙ. In a 50 μΙ PCR mix 20 ng template was used together with 20 pmol of the primers. The material was dissolved to a concentration of 0.5 μg/μl.

Table 2: Composition of the over-expression constructs.

For amplification of the selection marker, the pUG7-EcoRV construct (Figure 1 ) and suitable primers were used. The KanMX fragment was purified from gel using the Zymoclean Gel DNA Recovery kit (ZymoResearch). Yeast strain Cen.PK1 13-3C was transformed with the fragments listed in Table 3.

Table 3: DNA fragments used for transformation of ERG20, tHMGl and BTS1 Fragment

5'YPRcTau3

ERG20 cassette

tHMGl cassette

KanMX cassatte

BTS1 cassette

3'YPRcTau3 After transformation and recovery for 2.5 hours in YEPhD (yeast extract phytone peptone glucose; BBL Phytone Peptone from BD) at 30°C the cells were plated on YEPhD agar with 200 μglm\ G418 (Sigma). The plates were incubated at 30°C for 4 days. Correct integration was established with diagnostic PCR and sequencing. Over- expression was confirmed with LC/MS on the proteins. The schematic of the assembly of ERG20, tHMG1 and BTS1 is illustrated in Figure 2. This strain is named STV002.

Expression of the CRE-recombinase in this strain led to out-recombination of the KanMX marker. Correct out-recombination, and presence of ERG20, tHMG and BTS1 was established with diagnostic PCR.

Example 2. Knock down of Erg9

For reducing the expression of Erg9, an Erg9 knock down construct was designed and used that contains a modified 3' end, that continues into the TRP1 promoter driving TRP1 expression.

The construct containing the Erg9-KD fragment was transformed to E. coli TOP10 cells. Transformants were grown in 2PY(2 times Phytone peptone Yeast extract), sAMP medium. Plasmid DNA was isolated with the QIAprep Spin Miniprep kit (Qiagen) and digested with Sall-HF (New England Biolabs). To concentrate, the DNA was precipitated with ethanol. The fragment was transformed to S. cerevisiae, and colonies were plated on mineral medium (Verduyn et al, 1992. Yeast 8:501 -517) agar plates without tryptophan. Correct integration of the Erg9-KD construct was confirmed with diagnostic PCR and sequencing. The schematic of performed transformation of the Erg9-KD construct is illustrated in Figure 3. The strain was named STV003.

Example 3. Over-expression of UGT2 1a

For over-expression of UGT2_1 a, technology was used as described in copending patent application nos. PCT/EP2013/056623 and PCT/EP2013/055047. The UGT2_1 a was ordered as a cassette (containing homologous sequence, promoter, gene, terminator, homologous sequence) at DNA2.0. For details, see Table 4. To obtain the fragments containing the marker and Cre-recombinase, technology was used as described in co-pending patent application no. PCT/EP2013/055047. The NAT marker, conferring resistance to nourseothricin was used for selection. Table 4: Composition of the over-expression construct

Suitable primers were used for amplification. To amplify the 5' and 3' integration flanks for the integration locus, suitable primers and genomic DNA from a CEN.PK yeast strain was used.

S. cerevisiae yeast strain STV003 was transformed with the fragments listed in Table 5, and the transformation mix was plated on YEPhD agar plates containing 50 μg ml nourseothricin (Lexy NTC from Jena Bioscience).

Table 5: DNA fragments used for transformation of UGT2_1 a

Fragment

5'Chr09.01

UGT2_la cassette

NAT-CR

RE

3'Chr09.01

Expression of the CRE recombinase is activated by the presence of galactose. To induce the expression of the CRE recombinase, transformants were restreaked on YEPh Galactose medium. This resulted in out-recombination of the marker(s) located between lox sites. Correct integration of the UGT2a and out-recombination of the NAT marker was confirmed with diagnostic PCR. The resulting strain was named STV004. The schematic of the performed transformation of the UGT2_1 a construct is illustrated in Figure 4.

Example 4. Over-expression of production pathway to RebA: CPS, KS, KO, KAH,

CPR, UGT1 , UGT3 and UGT4. All pathway genes leading to the production of RebA were designed to be integrated in one locus using technology described in co-pending patent application no. PCT/EP2013/056623. To amplify the 5' and 3' integration flanks for the integration locus, suitable primers and genomic DNA from a CEN.PK yeast strain was used. The different genes were ordered as cassettes (containing homologous sequence, promoter, gene, terminator, homologous sequence) at DNA2.0 (see Table 5 for overview). The DNA from DNA2.0 was dissolved to 100 ng/μΙ. This stock solution was further diluted to 5 ng/μΙ, of which 1 μΙ was used in a δΟμΙ-PCR mixture. The reaction contained 25 pmol of each primer. After amplification, DNA was purified with the NucleoSpin 96 PCR Clean-up kit (Macherey-Nagel) or alternatively concentrated using ethanol precipitation.

Table 6. Sequences used for production pathway to RebA

All fragments for the pathway to RebA, the marker and the flanks (see overview in Table 7) were transformed to S. cerevisiae yeast strain STV004. After overnight recovery in YEPhD at 20°C the transformation mixes were plated on YEPhD agar containing 200 μg ml G418. These were incubated 3 days at 25°C and one night at RT.

Table 7. DNA fragments used for transformation of CPS, KS, KO, KanMX, KAH, CPR, UGT1 , UGT3 and UGT4.

Fragment

5ΊΝΤ1

CPS cassette

KS cassette

KO cassette

KanMX cassette

KAH cassette

CPR cassette

UGT1 cassette

UGT3 cassette

UGT4 cassette

3ΊΝΤ1

Correct integration was confirmed with diagnostic PCR and sequence analysis (3500 Genetic Analyzer, Applied Biosystems). The sequence reactions were done with the BigDye Terminator v3.1 Cycle Sequencing kit (Life Technologies). Each reaction (10 μΙ) contained 50 ng template and 3.2 pmol primer. The products were purified by ethanol/EDTA precipitation, dissolved in 10 μΙ HiDi formamide and applied onto the apparatus. The strain was named STV016. The schematic of how the pathway from GGPP to RebA is integrated into the genome is illustrated in Figure 5.

Example 5: Construction of strain STV027

To remove the KanMX marker from the chromosome of strain STV016, this strain was transformed with plasmid pSH65, expressing Cre-recombinase (Guldender, 2002). Subsequently plasmid pSH65 was cured from the strain by growing on non-selective medium (YEP 2% glucose). The resulting, KanMX-free and pSH65-free strains, as determined by plating on plates containing 200 μg G418/ml or 20 μg phleomycin/ml, where no growth should occur, was named STV027. Absence of the KanMX marker was furthermore confirmed with diagnostic PCR.

Example 6: Fermentation of strain STV027

The yeast strain STV027 constructed as described above, was cultivated in shake-flask (500ml with 50 ml medium) for 2 days at 30°C and 280 rpm. The medium was based on Verduyn et al. (Verduyn C, Postma E, Scheffers WA, Van Dijken JP. Yeast, 1992 Jul;8(7):501 -517), with modifications in the carbon and nitrogen sources, as described in Table 8.

Table 8. Preculture medium composition

'Trace elements solution

"Vitamin solution

Component Formula Concentration (g/kg)

Biotin (D-) CioHi 6 N 2 OsS 0.05

Ca D(+) panthothenate Ci8H3 2 CaN 2 Oio 1 .00

Nicotinic acid C 6 H 5 N0 2 1 .00

Myo-inositol CeHi 2 06 25.00

Thiamine chloride hydrochloride Ci 2 H 18 CI 2 N 4 OS . xH 2 0 1 .00

Pyridoxol hydrochloride C 8 H 12 CIN0 3 1 .00 p-aminobenzoic acid C 7 H 7 N0 2 0.20

Subsequently, 6ml of the content of the shake-flask was transferred into a fermenter (starting volume 0.3 L), which contained the medium as set out in Table 9.

Table 9. Composition fermentation medium

The pH was controlled at 5.0 by addition of ammonia (12.5 wt%). Temperature was controlled at 27°C. p0 2 was controlled at 40% by adjusting the stirrer speed. Glucose concentration was kept limited by controlled feed to the fermenter.

Table 10. Composition of the fermentation feed medium

Example 7: Chromatography

Fermentation broth of S. cerevisiae strain STV027 was heat shocked (1 h at 90°C) and spray dried. Reb A was extracted with ethanol (1 st extraction: 1 kg powder with 8 L 90% EtOH, 65°C, contact time 3 h; after filtration, the cake was extracted again with 8 L of 90 % EtOH at 65°C, contact time 2h,1 st and 2 nd extract were combined) . This extract was subjected to a 2-step chromatography process to remove other components. In Table 1 1 the run parameters are displayed. Table 1 1 : chromatography parameters

The column was loaded with amount of extract corresponding to 500 mg Reb A in a 20% EtOH solution, pH kept as such. The column was washed with 20 column volumes (CV) of 20% EtOH to wash out unbound components. Subsequently an ethanol gradient from 20% to 100% Buffer B in 18.2 CV was applied to elute the Reb A. The elution pattern is shown in Figure 6. Table 12 sets out relative amounts (expressed in %) in different fractions of the chromatographic run: wash, elution and fractions 1 to 6. The initial concentration of the respective compounds is taken as 100%.

Table 12. Step yields experiment

After the first purification, the elution fractions were combined and diluted to 20% ethanol concentration. The pH of this solution is then adjusted to 8.5 with use of 0.1 M NaOH. This solution is used as feed. The elution pattern is shown in Figure 7. Table 13 then sets out relative amounts (expressed in %) in different fractions of the chromatographic run: wash, elution and fractions 1 to 6. The initial concentration of the respective compounds is taken as 100%.

Table 13: Step yields experiment

Table 14 shows the purity of RebA as % in total dry material. The starting material contained 2.3 % and the final chromatography fractions end up at about 30 %. That is to say, a 15-fold purification of rebA.

Table 14: purification of RebA

Table 1 : Description of the sequence listing

Nucleic acid Nucleic Amino Id UniProt" Organism

(CpO for S. acid (CpO acid

cerevisiae) for Y.

lipolytica)

SEQ ID NO: SEQ ID NO: SEQ ID CPS_1 Q9FXV9 Lactuca sativa (Garden

1 151 NO: 2 Lettuce)

SEQ ID NO: SEQ ID NO: SEQ ID tCPS_l Lactuca sativa (Garden

3 152 NO: 4 Lettuce)

SEQ ID NO: SEQ ID NO: SEQ ID CPS_2 D2X8G0 Picea glauca

5 153 NO: 6 Nucleic acid Nucleic Amino Id UniProt" Organism

(CpO for S. acid (CpO acid

cerevisiae) for Y.

lipolytica)

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID CPS_3 Q45221 Bradyrhizobium

7 154 NO: 8 japonicum

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID KS_1 Q9FXV8 Lactuca sativa (Garden 9 155 NO: 10 Lettuce)

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID tKS_l Lactuca sativa (Garden 11 156 NO: 12 Lettuce)

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID KS_2 D2X8G1 Picea glauca

13 157 NO: 14

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID KS_3 Q45222 Bradyrhizobium

15 158 NO: 16 japonicum

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID CPSKS_1 013284 Phaeosphaeria sp 17 159 NO: 18

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID CPSKS_2 Q9UVY5 Gibberella fujikuroi 19 160 NO: 20

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID KO_l B5MEX5 Lactuca sativa (Garden 21 161 NO: 22 Lettuce)

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID KO_2 B5MEX6 Lactuca sativa (Garden 23 162 NO: 24 Lettuce)

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID KO_3 B5DBY4 Sphaceloma manihoticola 25 163 NO: 26

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID KAH_1 Q2HYU7 Artemisia annua (Sweet 27 164 NO: 28 wormwood).

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID KAH_2 B9SBP0 Ricinus communis (Castor 29 165 NO: 30 bean).

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID KAH_3 Q0NZP1 Stevia rebaudiana 31 166 NO: 32

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID KAH_4 JP20090658 Arabidopsis thaliana 33 167 NO: 34 86 (Mouse-ear cress)

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID UGT1_1 A9X3L6 Ixeris dentata var.

35 168 NO: 36 albiflora.

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID UGT1_2 B9SIN2 Ricinus communis (Castor 37 169 NO: 38 bean).

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID UGT3_1 A9X3L7 Ixeris dentata var.

39 170 NO: 40 Albiflora

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID UGT3_2 B9IEM5 Populus trichocarpa 41 171 NO: 42 (Western balsam poplar)

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID UGT3_3 Q9M6E7 Nicotiana tabacum 43 172 NO: 44

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID UGT3_4 A3E7Y9 Vaccaria hispanica 45 173 NO: 46

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID UGT3_5 P 10249 Streptococcus mutans 47 174 NO: 48

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID UGT4_1 A4F1T4 Lobelia erinus (Edging 49 175 NO: 50 lobelia)

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID UGT4_2 Q9M052 Arabidopsis thaliana 51 176 NO: 52 (Mouse-ear cress) Nucleic acid Nucleic Amino Id UniProt" Organism

(CpO for S. acid (CpO acid

cerevisiae) for Y.

lipolytica)

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID CPR_1 Q7Z8R1 Gibberella fujikuroi 53 177 NO: 54

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID CPR_2 Q9SB48 Arabidopsis thaliana 55 178 NO: 56 (Mouse-ear cress)

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID CPR_3 Q9SUM3 Arabidopsis thaliana 57 179 NO: 58 (Mouse-ear cress)

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID CPS_SR 022667 Stevia rebaudiana 59 141 NO: 60

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID tCPS_SR Stevia rebaudiana 61 142 NO: 62

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID KS_SR Q9XEI0 Stevia rebaudiana 63 143 NO: 64

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID tKS_SR Stevia rebaudiana 65 144 NO: 66

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID KO_SR Q4VCL5 Stevia rebaudiana 67 145 NO: 68

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID KAH_SR Stevia rebaudiana 69 146 NO: 70

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID UGT1_SR Q6VAB0 Stevia rebaudiana 71 147 NO: 72

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID UGT3_SR Q6VAA6 Stevia rebaudiana 73 148 NO: 74

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID UGT4_SR Q6VAB4 Stevia rebaudiana 75 149 NO: 76

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID CPR_SR Q2I6J8 Stevia rebaudiana 77 150 NO: 78

SEQID NO: SEQID tHMGl G2WJY0 Saccharomyces cerevisiae 79 NO: 80

SEQID NO: SEQID ERG20 E7LW73 Saccharomyces cerevisiae 81 NO: 82

SEQID NO: SEQID BTS1 E7Q9V5 Saccharomyces cerevisiae 83 NO: 84

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID KO_Gibfu 094142 Gibberella fujikuroi 85 180 NO: 86

SEQID NO: SEQID NO: SEQID UGT2_la B3Vlb6/99% Stevia rebaudiana 87 181 NO: 88

SEQiD NO: SEQID KAH_ASR1 Xxx S. rebaudiana

89 NO: 90

SEQID NO: SEQID KAH_ASR2 Q0NZP1_STE S. rebaudiana

91 NO: 92 RE

SEQID NO: SEQID KAH_AAT Q6NKZ8_AR A. thaliana

93 NO: 94 ATH

SEQID NO: SEQID KAH_AVV Vitis vinifera

95 NO: 96

SEQID NO: SEQID KAH_AMT Q2MJ20_ME Medicago truncatula 97 NO: 98 DTR Nucleic acid Nucleic Amino Id UniProt" Organism

(CpO for S. acid (CpO acid

cerevisiae) for Y.

lipolytica)

SEQID NO: SEQID UGT2_lb S. rebaudiana 99 NO: 100

SEQID NO: SEQID UGT2_2 Q53UH5JPO 1. purpurea 101 NO: 102 PU

SEQID NO: SEQID UGT2_3 UGAT BELPE Bellis perennis 103 NO: 104

SEQID NO: SEQID UGT2_4 B3VI56 S. rebaudiana 105 NO: 106

SEQiD NO: SEQID UGT2_5 Q6VAA8 S. rebaudiana 107 NO: 108

SEQID NO: SEQID UGT2_6 Q8LKG3 S. rebaudiana 109 NO: 110

SEQID NO: SEQID UGT2_7 B9HSH7_PO Populus trichocarpa 111 NO: 112 PTR

SEQID NO: SEQID UGT_RD1 Q6VAA3 S. rebaudiana 113 NO: 114

SEQID NO: SEQID UGT_RD2 Q8H6A4 S. rebaudiana 115 NO: 116

SEQID NO: SEQID UGT_RD3 Q6VAA4 S. rebaudiana 117 NO: 118

SEQID NO: SEQID UGT_RD4 Q6VAA5 S. rebaudiana 119 NO: 120

SEQID NO: SEQID UGT_RD5 Q6VAA7 S. rebaudiana 121 NO: 122

SEQID NO: SEQID UGT_RD6 Q6VAA8 S. rebaudiana 123 NO: 124

SEQID NO: SEQID UGT_RD7 Q6VAA9 S. rebaudiana 125 NO: 126

SEQID NO: SEQID UGT_RD8 Q6VAB1 S. rebaudiana 127 NO: 128

SEQID NO: SEQID UGT_RD9 Q6VAB2 S. rebaudiana 129 NO: 130

SEQID NO: SEQID UGT_RD10 Q6VAB3 S. rebaudiana 131 NO: 132

SEQID NO: SEQID UGT_RD11 B9VVB1 S. rebaudiana 133 NO: 134

SEQID NO: SEQID UGT_RD12 C7EA09 S. rebaudiana 135 NO: 136

SEQID NO: SEQID UGT_RD13 Q8LKG3 S. rebaudiana 137 NO: 138

SEQID NO: SEQID UGT_RD14 B3VI56 S. rebaudiana 139 NO: 140

SEQID NO: tCPS

182

SEQID NO: tKS

183 Nucleic acid Nucleic Amino Id UniProt" Organism (CpO for S. acid (CpO acid

cerevisiae) for Y.

lipolytica)

SEQID NO: CPSKS

184

SEQID NO: KAH4

185

SEQID NO: KO_Gibfu

186

SEQID NO: CPR1

187

SEQID NO: CPR3

188

SEQID NO: UGT1

189

SEQID NO: UGT3

190

SEQID NO: UGT4

191

SEQID NO: UGT2_la

192

SEQID NO: pTPI

193

SEQID NO: gpc!T-pGPD

194

SEQID NO: pgmT-pTEF

195

SEQID NO: pgkT-pPGM

196

SEQID NO: LEU2and

197 flanking

sequences

SEQID NO: vector sequences

198

SEQID NO: pENO

199

SEQID NO: HPH

200

SEQID NO: Sc Eno2.pro

201

SEQID NO: Sc Fbal.pro

202

SEQID NO: Sc Tefl.pro

203

SEQID NO: Sc Pgkl.pro

204

SEQID NO: Kl prom 12. pro

205

SEQID NO: Ag lox_TEFl.pro

206 Nucleic acid Nucleic Amino Id UniProt" Organism

(CpO for S. acid (CpO acid

cerevisiae) for Y.

lipolytica)

SEQID NO: Kl prom 6. pro

207

SEQID NO: Sc Pmal.pro

208

SEQID NO: Sc Vps68.pro

209

SEQID NO: Sc Oye2.pro

210

SEQID NO: KANMXORF

211

SEQID NO: Adhl.ter

212

SEQID NO: Adh2.ter

213

SEQID NO: Gmpl.ter

214

SEQID NO: Sc Tall.ter

215

SEQID NO: ScTpil.ter

216

SEQID NO: Ag Tef ljox.ter

217

SEQID NO: Sc Pdcl.ter

218

SEQID NO: Sc Tdhl.ter

219

SEQID NO: Sc Enol.ter

220

SEQID NO: Kl prom3.pro

221

SEQID NO: Kl prom2.pro

222

SEQID NO: Sc PRE3. Pro

223

greyed out ids are truncated and thus a ragment of mentioned UniProt id