Engineering of the methylmalonyl-CoA (mmCoA) metabolite node of the Saccharopolyspora erythraea wild-type strain through duplication of the mmCoA mutase (MCM) operon led to a 50% increase in erythromycin production in a high-performance oil-based fermentation medium. The MCM operon was carried on a 6.8kb DNA fragment in a plasmid which was inserted by homologous recombination into the S. erythraea chromosome. The fragment contained one uncharacterized gene, ORF1; three MCM related genes, mutA, mutB, meaB; and one gntR-family regulatory gene, mutR. Additional strains were constructed containing partial duplications of the MCM operon, as well as a knockout of ORF1. None of these strains showed any significant alteration in their erythromycin production profile. The combined results showed that increased erythromycin production only occurred in a strain containing a duplication of the entire MCM operon including mutR and a predicted stem-loop structure overlapping the 3' terminus of the mutR coding sequence.