Researchers in the Biofuels Pathways Group discover naturally occurring enzymes that, when integrated with metabolic pathways for biofuel precursors (such as fatty acids), enable engineered microbes to synthesize advanced biofuels. A genome-enabled approach is used to study both pure bacterial cultures and natural microbial communities known to produce the biofuels of interest. In addition to mining existing pathways from nature, researchers in the Biofuels Pathways Group create new pathways by assembling combinations of known genes into non-native pathways to produce fuels optimized for a particular application.
Specific work related to this project:
- Development and optimization of pathways for diesel-range methyl ketone biosynthesis in E. coli
- Identification of enzymes involved in biosynthesis of ladderane fatty acids by anammox bacteria