BER launches Environmental System Science Program. Visit our new website under construction!

U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights


Understanding Microbial Tolerance to Next Generation Biofuels
Published: March 15, 2010
Posted: March 24, 2010

Short chain alcohols such as n-butanol are promising candidates as next generation biofuels because of their high energy density and compatibility with existing fuel supply infrastructure. Although several types of microbes can synthesize these compounds from biomass-derived sugars, their toxicity to the microbes limits the total quantities that can be produced. Scientists at the DOE Joint Bioenergy Institute (JBEI) have reported how exposure to n-butanol causes global changes in gene and protein expression in the model bacterium E. coli. Their studies provide clues on how the microbe regulates its response to this form of stress. These results identify new targets for reengineering microbes to improve their tolerance to n-butanol and other next generation biofuels. The research is published in the March 15th issue of Applied & Environmental Microbiology.

Reference: Rutherford, B. J., R. H. Dahl, R. E. Price, H. L. Szmidt, P. I. Benke, A. Muchopadhyay, and J. D. Keasling. 2010. "Functional Genomic Study of Exogenous n-Butanol Stress in Escherichia coli," Appl. & Environ. Microbiol. 76:1935-1945.

Contact: Joseph Graber, SC-23.2, (301) 903-1239
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Genomic Analysis and Systems Biology
  • Research Area: Microbes and Communities
  • Research Area: Sustainable Biofuels and Bioproducts
  • Research Area: DOE Bioenergy Research Centers (BRC)
  • Research Area: Biosystems Design

Division: SC-33.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER

 

BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

Jan 11, 2022
No Honor Among Copper Thieves
Findings provide a novel means to manipulate methanotrophs for a variety of environmental and in [more...]

Dec 06, 2021
New Genome Editing Tools Can Edit Within Microbial Communities
Two new technologies allow scientists to edit specific species and genes within complex laborato [more...]

Oct 27, 2021
Fungal Recyclers: Fungi Reuse Fire-Altered Organic Matter
Degrading pyrogenic (fire-affected) organic matter is an important ecosystem function of fungi i [more...]

Oct 19, 2021
Microbes Offer a Glimpse into the Future of Climate Change
Scientists identify key features in microbes that predict how warming affects carbon dioxide emi [more...]

Aug 25, 2021
Assessing the Production Cost and Carbon Footprint of a Promising Aviation Biofuel
Biomass-derived DMCO has the potential to serve as a low-carbon, high-performance jet fuel blend [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)