Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Highly efficient production of advanced biofuel by metabolically engineered microorganism

Date:
October 23, 2012
Source:
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
Summary:
A Korean research team has applied a systems metabolic engineering approach to improve the production of butanol through enhancing the performance of Clostridium acetobutylicum, one of the best known butanol-producing bacteria.

Fuels including gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel are derived from fossil oil thorough the petroleum refinery processes. Increased concerns over environmental problems and limited fossil resources drive scientists and researchers to turn their attention to developing fossil-free, bio-based processes for the production of fuels from renewable non-food biomass. Utilizing systems metabolic engineering, a Korean research team at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has succeeded in demonstrating an optimized process to increase butanol production by generating an engineered bacterium.

In the paper published in mBio, a broad-scope, online-only, and open access journal issued by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), on October 23 as a featured article, Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee at the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, KAIST, a premier science and engineering university in Korea, Dr. Do Young Seung at GS Caltex, a large oil refining company in Korea, and Dr. Yu-Sin Jang at BioFuelChem, a startup butanol company in Korea, applied a systems metabolic engineering approach to improve the production of butanol through enhancing the performance of Clostridium acetobutylicum, one of the best known butanol-producing bacteria.

Microorganisms have proven to be efficient biocatalysts for the production of biofuels from various sources of biomass in an environmentally-friendly way. However, the microorganisms isolated from nature are often inefficient for the economical production of desired products at an industrial scale. Thus microorganisms' performance needs to be improved in order to be suitable for the industrial production of biofuels. Systems metabolic engineering, which allows metabolic engineering at a systems-level, is employed for designing and optimizing cellular metabolic and regulatory networks to induce the most efficient production of target bioproducts.

Butanol has been used as an important industrial solvent, and is also a great alternative fuel because of its similar properties to gasoline. It can also be blended with gasoline at any ratio. Butanol is naturally produced by some anaerobic bacteria, but the efficiency of its production could not match that of ethanol due to the high toxicity of butanol to host organisms and the production of byproducts such as acetone and organic acids. Over the past decades, many research groups extensively studied clostridial butanol producing organisms to achieve higher yield and titer, but the limited genetic modification tools and complex metabolic pathways of clostridia hampered the successful development of an engineered strain capable of producing butanol at a higher yield and titer.

The Korean research team analyzed metabolic pathways leading to butanol production and found that two different solvent-forming pathways can be potentially employed. In one pathway, butanol is directly produced from carbon source, which was termed as hot channel, and in the other, butanol is converted from the acids produced earlier in fermentation process, which was termed as cold channel. Using the in silico modeling and simulation tools, Professor Lee's team demonstrated that the hot channel allowed a much better approach to produce butanol compared with the cold channel. To reinforce a metabolic flux toward the hot channel for butanol production, the metabolic network of C. acetobutylicum strain was systematically engineered.

In addition, the downstream process was optimized and an in situ recovery process was integrated to achieve higher butanol titer, yield, and productivity. The combination of systems metabolic engineering and bioprocess optimization resulted in the development of a process capable of producing more than 585 g of butanol from 1.8 Kg of glucose, which allows the production of this important industrial solvent and advanced biofuel to be cost competitive.

This research was supported by the Technology Development Program to Solve Climate Changes from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST), Korea, the National Research Foundation of Korea, the Advanced Biomass Center through the Global Frontier Research Program of the MEST, and by the EEWS program of KAIST.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yu-Sin Jang, Jin Young Lee, Joungmin Lee, Jin Hwan Park, Jung Ae Im, Moon-Ho Eom, Julia Lee, Sang-Hyun Lee, Hyohak Song, Jung-Hee Cho, Do Young Seung and Sang Yup Lee. Enhanced Butanol Production Obtained by Reinforcing the Direct Butanol-Forming Route in Clostridium acetobutylicum. mBio, 2012; DOI: 10.1128/mBio.00314-12

Cite This Page:

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). "Highly efficient production of advanced biofuel by metabolically engineered microorganism." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121023091032.htm>.
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). (2012, October 23). Highly efficient production of advanced biofuel by metabolically engineered microorganism. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121023091032.htm
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). "Highly efficient production of advanced biofuel by metabolically engineered microorganism." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121023091032.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins