E. Coli Bacteria Engineered To Eat Up Carbon Dioxide

Weizmann institute of science (WIS) in central israel reported that israeli researchers have developed bacteria fed only with carbon dioxide.

This might be a plus point as theses bacteria those build up their entire biomass of their body from carbon in the air, may help develop future technologies that reduce greenhouse gas accumulation in the environment and reduce global warming.

E.Coli is one of the most important type of bacteria. It has numerous capability within it. A part of it most of genetic sequence of e.coli has already been sequenced. Whenever it come to do research experiments e.coli is one of the choice of researchers to perform experiments. Carbon dioxide eating up experiment was also performed on strain on e. coli.

To do so researchers have reprogrammed e.coli strain that eat up sugar and release carbon dioxide to intake carbon dioxide and produce sugar for its internal body mass.

As per the news published in nature.com “Milo and his team used a mix of genetic engineering and lab evolution to create a strain of E. coli that can get all its carbon from CO2. First, they gave the bacterium genes that encode a pair of enzymes that allow photosynthetic organisms to convert CO2 into organic carbon. Plants and cyanobacteria power this conversion with light, but that wasn’t feasible for E. coli. Instead, Milo’s team inserted a gene that lets the bacterium glean energy from an organic molecule called formate.”

Even after all these trials E. Coli cells refuses to take CO2 as a primary source of sugar. Scientists re-culture these E. Coli strains to many generations in the expectation that cells will develop mutation to utilize CO2 as a primary source of carbon. After 200 generation first cell emerge that was capable to utilize CO2 as a primary source of carbon.

Milo says his team work on E.Coli may extend its capability to produce renewable fuel, food and other organic chemicals as bacteria is already involved in making human insulin, and other synthetic chemicals.


Gaurav Singh

Editor in Chief Medical Microbiology & Recombinant DNA Technology (RDT) Labs - RDT Labs Magazine

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