'Escherichia coli eating carbon dioxide' is born by genetic manipulation



An Israeli research team has announced that E. coli, which normally consumes organic matter and emits carbon dioxide, has successfully manipulated its genes to “ absorb and grow carbon dioxide ”. According to the scientific journal Nature, Escherichia coli, which became an autotrophic organism that eats carbon dioxide, can be expected as a biofuel or an idea to suppress the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Conversion of Escherichia coli to Generate All Biomass Carbon from CO2: Cell

E. coli bacteria engineered to eat carbon dioxide

Plants and photosynthetic cyanobacteria are autotrophic organisms that use light energy to convert carbon dioxide into carbohydrates. However, it is difficult for these organisms to be genetically modified, and the application to biotechnology is not so advanced.

In contrast, E. coli is relatively easy to manipulate. In addition, E. coli is easy to cultivate and grows quickly, making it easy to optimize genetic changes and quickly test changes. However, E. coli is a heterotrophic organism that acquires carbon from sugars such as glucose , uses it for metabolism, and emits carbon dioxide as waste.


Anthony D'Onofrio

Ron Miro, a system biologist working at the Weitzmann Institute for Science in Israel, is conducting research on E. coli that uses carbon dioxide as a carbon source instead of glucose. Mr. Milo argues that if E. coli consumes carbon dioxide, it can potentially reduce the effects of global warming.

Miro's research team first inserted a gene that expresses an enzyme used by plants and cyanobacteria in photosynthesis into E. coli DNA. This enzyme can obtain the energy required to synthesize organic matter from carbon dioxide from light energy. However, E. coli did not perform photosynthesis. Therefore, the research team inserted an enzyme gene that extracts electrons from formic acid and converts it into energy into E. coli DNA.

However, E. coli did not use carbon dioxide as a “main diet”. Therefore, the research team expected to cultivate E. coli with only about 250 times the concentration of carbon dioxide and a very small amount of glucose in the Earth's atmosphere, and to mutate to E. coli using only carbon dioxide as a carbon source by environmental adaptation . About 200 days after the start of culture, an E. coli strain that can synthesize organic matter from carbon dioxide has finally appeared.

The Escherichia coli strain that has been reborn as an autotrophic organism under laboratory conditions seems to double approximately every 18 hours in the atmosphere with a carbon dioxide concentration of 10%. However, it is impossible to survive without glucose at carbon dioxide concentrations around the Earth's atmosphere (approximately 0.04%). Miro et al., “Clarify how E. coli evolved to absorb carbon dioxide” “Make bacteria grow faster and grow at lower carbon dioxide concentrations” Is a future issue.

`` Miro et al.'S research is a milestone and shows that natural engineering can be improved by fusing biotechnology and evolution, '' says Michigan State University bioengineer Cheryl Carfeld. It is. Tobias Erbe, a biologist at the Max Planck Institute for Microbiology, said, “The research paper published by Miro et al. Is a proof of concept. It will take several years for this E. coli to be optimized. I guessed.

in Science,   Creature, Posted by log1i_yk