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FEBS Lett. 2012 Jul 16;586(15):2191-8. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2012.04.043. Epub 2012 May 3.

Pathway engineering and synthetic biology using acetogens.

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Institut für Mikrobiologie and Biotechnologie, Universität Ulm, Albert-Einstein-Allee 11, 89081 Ulm, Germany.


Acetogenic anaerobic bacteria are defined as organisms employing the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway to synthesize acetyl-CoA from CO(2) or CO. Their autotrophic mode of metabolism offers the biotechnological chance to combine use of abundantly available substrates with reduction of greenhouse gases. Several companies have already established pilot and demonstration plants for converting waste gases into ethanol, an important biofuel and a natural product of many acetogens. Recombinant DNA approaches now opened the door to construct acetogens, synthesizing important industrial bulk chemicals and biofuels such as acetone and butanol. Thus, novel microbial production platforms are available that no longer compete with nutritional feedstocks.

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