Recombinant microbial systems for improved β-galactosidase production and biotechnological applications

Carla Oliveira, Pedro M.R. Guimarães, Lucília Domingues*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

116 Citations (Scopus)


β-Galactosidases (EC constitute a large family of proteins that are known to catalyze both hydrolytic and transgalactosylation reactions. The hydrolytic activity has been applied in the food industry for decades for reducing the lactose content in milk, while the transgalactosylation activity has been used to synthesize galacto-oligosaccharides and galactose containing chemicals in recent years. The main focus of this review is on the expression and production of Aspergillus niger, Kluyveromyces lactis and bacterial β-galactosidases in different microbial hosts. Furthermore, emphasis is given on the reported applications of the recombinant enzymes. Current developments on novel β-galactosidases, derived from newly identified microbial sources or by protein engineering means, together with the use of efficient recombinant microbial production systems are converting this enzyme into a relevant synthetic tool. Thermostable β-galactosidases (cold-adapted or thermophilic) in addition to the growing market for functional foods will likely redouble its industrial interest.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)600-609
Number of pages10
JournalBiotechnology Advances
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Cold-adapted enzymes
  • Milk lactose hydrolysis
  • Recombinant β-galactosidase
  • Recombinant microbial systems
  • Thermophilic enzymes
  • Transgalactosylation activity
  • Whey bioremediation


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