In vivo implementation of synthetic CO2 fixation pathways 

In vivo implementation of synthetic CO2 fixation pathways

Synthetic biology approaches make it possible to design synthetic CO2 fixation pathways that never exhibited in nature. By not being constrained by the evolutionary process, we are able to create pathways that work faster and more efficiently than those explored during the natural selection process.

In our group, we have demonstrated the ability to create efficient synthetic CO2 fixation pathways, all of which have been validated through in vitro approaches (Schwander et al. Science; McLean et al. Sci Adv). However, we are currently pushing towards the next level, making these pathways work autonomously in living organisms (Luo et al. Nat Catal). For this purpose, we are working with different model microorganisms (such as Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas putida, Cupriavidus necator, Synechococcus elongatus and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii) in a stepwise process that includes:

  • Rationalization of genetic elements composing the synthetic CO2 fixation pathways to facilitate the transition from the in vitro to the in vivo environment.
  • Engineering of auxotrophic strains for intermediates of our synthetic CO2 fixation pathway in order to facilitate subsequent screening processes.
  • Playing with the perfect balance between rational design and Adaptive Laboratory Evolution (ALE) to establish our pathways as efficiently as possible.

Altogether, this allows us to achieve the functional implementation of synthetic CO2 fixation pathways within the highly complex metabolic and genetic networks of living cells.


Learn more about:
Evolution and Biochemistry of natural CO2-fixing enzymes
Engineering of new-to-nature CO2- and C1-converting enzymes
in vitro synthetic metabolic networks
Phototrophic chassis
Design and realization of artificial organelles and cells

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