The toxicity of fine chemicals to the producer organism is a problem in several biotechnological production processes. In several instances, an organic phase can be used to extract the toxic product from the aqueous phase during a fermentation. With the discovery of solvent-tolerant bacteria, more solvents can now be used in such two-liquid water-solvent systems. We are gaining new insights into the mechanisms of bacterial solvent tolerance, such as the active efflux of solvents from the cytoplasmic membrane and solvent-impermeable outer membranes.
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