Systems biology of bacterial methylotrophy for biotechnological products from methanol
Genetically engineered bacteria are widely used as cell factories for the production of special, fine, bulk, and fuel chemicals. The biotechnology industry mainly uses sugars and molasses as a carbon source, these raw materials being derived from plants demanding cultivatable land which is increasingly needed for human nutrition. Methanol is abundant and regarded as an alternative, highly attractive non-feed raw material in microbial bioprocesses. Methylotrophy, the ability of certain specialized bacteria to use methanol as carbon source for growth, bears the potential to build value from methanol through the production of chemicals. A systems-level understanding of bacteria is a prerequisite for their rational engineering and efficient use as cell factories in industrial biotechnology. The MetApp project goal is to gain a systems-level understanding of evolutionary alternatives to bacterial methylotrophy to deduce and experimentally evaluate strategies for the methanol-based production of sought-after chemicals.
Project consortium coordinator: Prof. Trygve Brautaset, SINTEF Materials and Chemistry, Norway
Swiss consortium partner: Prof. Julia Vorholt, ETH Zurich