Posted by: shrikantmantri | January 28, 2010

Microbial production of fatty-acid-derived fuels and chemicals from plant biomass

Microbial production of fatty-acid-derived fuels and chemicals from plant biomass

Eric J. Steen1,2,3,8, Yisheng Kang1,4,8, Gregory Bokinsky1,4, Zhihao Hu6, Andreas Schirmer6, Amy McClure6, Stephen B. del Cardayre6 & Jay D. Keasling1,2,3,4,5,7

  1. Joint BioEnergy Institute,
  2. Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center, 5885 Hollis Avenue, Emeryville, California 94608, USA
  3. Departmient of Bioengineering,
  4. QB3 Institute,
  5. Department of Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA
  6. LS9, Inc., 100 Kimball Way, South San Francisco, California 94080, USA
  7. Physical Biosciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, USA
  8. These authors contributed equally to this work.

Correspondence to: Stephen B. del Cardayre6Jay D. Keasling1,2,3,4,5,7 Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to J.D.K. (Email: or S.B.d.C. (Email:


Increasing energy costs and environmental concerns have emphasized the need to produce sustainable renewable fuels and chemicals1. Major efforts to this end are focused on the microbial production of high-energy fuels by cost-effective ‘consolidated bioprocesses’2. Fatty acids are composed of long alkyl chains and represent nature’s ‘petroleum’, being a primary metabolite used by cells for both chemical and energy storage functions. These energy-rich molecules are today isolated from plant and animal oils for a diverse set of products ranging from fuels to oleochemicals. A more scalable, controllable and economic route to this important class of chemicals would be through the microbial conversion of renewable feedstocks, such as biomass-derived carbohydrates. Here we demonstrate the engineering of Escherichia coli to produce structurally tailored fatty esters (biodiesel), fatty alcohols, and waxes directly from simple sugars. Furthermore, we show engineering of the biodiesel-producing cells to express hemicellulases, a step towards producing these compounds directly from hemicellulose, a major component of plant-derived biomass.

Posted via email from Sharing significant bytes —(Shrikant Mantri)


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