An engineered microbial platform for direct biofuel production from brown macroalgae

TitleAn engineered microbial platform for direct biofuel production from brown macroalgae
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsWargacki, A. J., Leonard E., Win M. N., Regitsky D. D., Santos C. N. S., Kim P. B., Cooper S. R., Raisner R. M., Herman A., Sivitz A. B., Lakshmanaswamy A., Kashiyama Y., Baker D., & Yoshikuni Y.
Date Published2012 Jan 20
KeywordsAlginates, Bacterial Proteins, Biofuels, Biological Transport, Biomass, Carrier Proteins, Collaborative Publication, Escherichia coli, Ethanol, Fermentation, Genes, Bacterial, Glucose, Glucuronic Acid, Hexuronic Acids, Lactic Acid, Mannitol, Metabolic Engineering, Metabolic Networks and Pathways, Open Reading Frames, Phaeophyta, Polysaccharide-Lyases, Seaweed, Vibrio

Prospecting macroalgae (seaweeds) as feedstocks for bioconversion into biofuels and commodity 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 simultaneously degrade, uptake, and metabolize alginate. When further engineered for ethanol synthesis, this platform enables bioethanol production directly from macroalgae via a consolidated 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).

Alternate JournalScience
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