Metabolic Engineering of Cyanobacteria

Willem Vermaas (Inventor)

Research output: Patent


Two challenges facing the world today include the ongoing pollution of the environment with carbon dioxide which contributes to global warming and the increasing consumption of the worlds natural energy resources of fossil fuels. A problematic cycle exists where the increase in fossil fuel consumption correlates with an increase in carbon dioxide air pollution. An elegant solution to these challenges would be to cultivate microorganisms such as cyanobacteria that take and utilize carbon dioxide for their growth while producing useful products and alternative sources of energy. Researchers at Arizona State University have developed methods to modify and grow cyanobacteria to achieve the controllable production of a desired metabolic product. The engineered bacteria also demonstrate increased uptake and fixation of carbon dioxide as compared to unmodified bacteria. The metabolic products overexpressed by the bacteria can be processed into biofuels, bioplastics, animal feed additives, pigments or anti-oxidants, or organic fertilizers. Potential Applications Biofuels Carbon remediation Bioplastics Renewable feedstocks for fine chemical production Benefits and Advantages Versatile - the bacteria can be modified to express many products of interest Controllable - production is regulated at the genetic level Renewable - cyanobacteria growth is well studied and robust Dowload Original PDFFor more information about the inventor(s) and their research, please see Dr. Vermaas' departmental webpageDr. Vermaas' research webpage
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Apr 12 2006


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