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An engineered microbial platform for direct biofuel production from brown macroalgae
Wargacki, 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. (2012). An engineered microbial platform for direct biofuel production from brown macroalgae. Science (Wash.) 335(6066): 308-313.
In: Science (Washington). American Association for the Advancement of Science: New York, N.Y. ISSN 0036-8075, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Authors  Top 
  • Wargacki, 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.

    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 similar to 80% of the maximum theoretical yield from the sugar composition in macroalgae).

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