CRISPR’s Impact on Diesel Is Now
by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest) … Now, Fuzhong Zhang, associate professor at the School of Engineering & Applied Science updated the Digest this week and noted that “We designed and then constructed a synthetic metabolic pathway inside the fast-growing E.coli by introducing genes from other species, including Staphylococus aureus, cyanobacteria and soil bacteria. By using CRISPR, we incorporated genes from different species with favorable traits into E.coli’s fatty acid pathway.”
Zhang’s research focuses on engineering metabolic pathways that, when optimized, allow the bacteria to act as a biofuel generator. In its latest findings, recently published in Biotechnology for Biofuels, Zhang’s lab used the best bits of several other species — including a well-known pathogen — to enable E.coli to produce branched, long-chain fatty alcohols (BLFLs).
As the research team indicates:
The intrinsic structural properties of branched long-chain fatty alcohols (BLFLs) in the range of C12 to C18 make them more suitable as diesel fuel replacements and for other industrial applications than their straight-chain counterparts.
An attractive molecule range. While microbial production of straight long-chain fatty alcohols has been achieved, biosynthesis of BLFLs has never been reported. READ MORE