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Turning bacteria into butanol biofuel factories
Date:3/2/2011

ences of microbial genomes, and based on her understanding of the enzyme pathway, substituted the new versions at critical points that would not interfere with the hundreds of other chemical reactions going on in a living E. coli cell. In all, she installed genes from three separate organisms Clostridium acetobutylicum, Treponema denticola and Ralstonia eutrophus -- into the E. coli.

Chang is optimistic that by improving enzyme activity at a few other bottlenecks in the n-butanol synthesis pathway, and by optimizing the host microbe for production of n-butanol, she can boost production two to three times, enough to justify considering scaling up to an industrial process. She also is at work adapting the new synthetic pathway to work in yeast, a workhorse for industrial production of many chemicals and pharmaceuticals.


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Contact: Robert Sanders
rsanders@berkeley.edu
510-643-6998
University of California - Berkeley
Source:Eurekalert  

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