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UCLA engineers develop new metabolic pathway to more efficiently convert sugars into biofuels
Date:9/30/2013

etic pathway and demonstrated complete carbon conservation. The resulting acetyl-CoA molecules can be used to produce a desired chemical with higher carbon efficiency. The researchers dubbed their new hybrid pathway non-oxidative glycolysis, or NOG.

"This is a fundamentally new cycle," Bogorad said. "We rerouted the most central metabolic pathway and found a way to increase the production of acetyl-CoA. Instead of losing carbon atoms to CO2, you can now conserve them and improve your yields and produce even more product."

The researchers also noted that this new synthetic pathway could be used with many kinds of sugars, which in each case have different numbers of carbon atoms per molecule, and no carbon would be wasted.

"For biorefining, a 50 percent improvement in yield would be a huge increase," Bogorad said. "NOG can be a nice platform with different sugars for a 100 percent conversion to acetyl-CoA. We envision that NOG will have wide-reaching applications and will open up many new possibilities because of the way we can conserve carbon."

The researchers also suggest this new pathway could be used in biofuel production using photosynthetic microbes.

The paper's other author is Tzu-Shyang Lin, who recently received a bachelor's degree from UCLA in chemical engineering.


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Contact: Matthew Chin
mchin@support.ucla.edu
310-206-0680
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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