Tapping cyanobacteria for sugar: increasing photosynthetic potential and engineering solar-driven microbial consortia for bioproduction

Microbiology Seminar Series

  • Date: Sep 14, 2020
  • Time: 16:00
  • Speaker: Dr. Daniel Ducat
  • Michigan State University, College of Natural Science, East Lansing, USA
  • Location: Online
  • Host: Prof. Dr. Tobias Erb
  • Contact: toerb@mpi-marburg.mpg.de

The Ducat lab is interested in understanding cyanobacterial physiology and in engineering them for solar-driven bioproduction. One interest is a cyanobacterial strain we originally engineered to secrete sucrose as an alternative carbohydrate feedstock crop (e.g., substitute for corn/sugarcane). Somewhat counterintuitively, we find cyanobacterial strains that secrete the majority of their fixed carbon as simple sugars also exhibit improved efficiency of sunlight-to-biomass conversion as a result: which has implications for the regulation of photosynthetic energetic balance. Efforts to utilize these strains as a “module” for rational design of synthetic microbial consortia (autotroph/heterotroph) that are “solar powered” will also be summarized.

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