Expression of enzymes in E. coli to produce biofuels
Gupta M, J A Jones and M A G Koffas
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA
DAV University, India
: Expert Opin Environ Biol
Methane, as natural gas or biogas is the least expensive source of biofuel. The main problem with the use of methane is its non-compressing nature. The biological upgrading of this single carbon source to biofuels as well as high value chemicals can bring new sustainable solutions to a number of industries with large environmental footprints. Today, biological engineering has provided new opportunities for metabolic system modulation and give new optimism to the concept of a methane-based bio-industry. The proposed approach is to simultaneously use methanol (MeOH) and CO2 to produce isobutanol with a future goal of going all the way back to the conversion of methane to biofuels. We have engineered E. coli cells to utilize MeOH as a carbon and energy source by expressing methanol dehydrogenase (MDH) and two enzymes from the methylotrophic HuMP pathway. The isobutanol pathway has been integrated into E. coli genome using CRISPR technology. The proposed technology is unique and innovative and has a high probability for commercial success. As global energy requirements change and grow, it is crucial that energy infrastructures need to be adapted and changed to fulfill the promises of increasing population for power generation. Hydrocarbon liquid fuel production from natural gas/methane or methanol will help to replace a significant amount of petroleum-based liquid fuel usage while at the same time will also harvest value from a wasted resource and help to mitigate climate change issues.
Gupta M is currently working as Indo-US Postdoctoral fellow in Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute under the mentorship of Professor Mattheos Koffas, a renowned Scientist in the field of Metabolic Engineering. She is having expertise in microbiology, cell biology and microbial metabolic engineering. Her previous research work focused on exploration of microbial diversity for sustainable environmental solutions. She has published eight research papers in journals of international repute.