Washington University researchers refine metabolic pathways of microbes

November 28, 2017 |

In Missouri, scientists have previously engineered metabolic pathways of microbes, making them tiny biofuel factories. Now, new research from an engineer at Washington University in St. Louis further refines the process, stitching together the best bits of several different bacteria to synthesize a new biofuel product that matches current engines better than previously produced biofuels.

The 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 alcohol (BLFL), a substance that can be used as a freeze-resistant, liquid biofuel.

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Category: Research

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