An engineered microbial platform for direct biofuel production from brown macroalgae

Thursday February 21
09:45

An engineered microbial platform for direct biofuel production from brown macroalgae

Yasuo Yoshikuni, Bio Arcitecture Lab, (USA)
Prospecting macroalgae (seaweeds) as feed- stocks for bioconversion into biofuels and com- modity chemical compounds is limited primarily by the availability of tractable microorganisms that can metabolize alginate polysaccharides. Here, we present the discovery of a 36–kilo– base pair DNA fragment from Vibrio splendidus encoding enzymes for alginate transport and metabolism. The genomic integration of this ensemble, together with an engineered system for extracellular alginate depolymerization, 
generated a microbial platform that can simul- taneously degrade, uptake, and metabolize alginate. When further engineered for ethanol synthesis, this platform enables bioethanol pro- duction directly from macroalgae via a consoli- dated process, achieving a titer of 4.7% volume/ volume and a yield of 0.281 weight ethanol/ weight dry macroalgae (equivalent to ~80% of the maximum theoretical yield from the sugar composition in macroalgae). 
 

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