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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2015 Jun;33:60-72. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2014.11.014. Epub 2014 Dec 10.

Acetogenic mixotrophy: novel options for yield improvement in biofuels and biochemicals production.

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Molecular Biotechnology Laboratory, Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, & the Delaware Biotechnology Institute, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19711, USA.
Elcriton, Inc., 15 Reads Way, New Castle, DE 19720, USA.
Elcriton, Inc., 15 Reads Way, New Castle, DE 19720, USA. Electronic address:


Mass yields of biofuels and chemicals from sugar fermentations are limited by the decarboxylation reactions involved in Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas (EMP) glycolysis. This paper reviews one route to recapture evolved CO2 using the Wood-Ljungdahl carbon fixation pathway (WLP) in a process called anaerobic, non-photosynthetic (ANP) mixotrophic fermentation. In ANP mixotrophic fermentation, the two molecules of CO2 and eight electrons produced from glycolysis are used by the WLP to generate three molecules of acetyl-CoA from glucose, rather than the two molecules that are produced by typical fermentation processes. In this review, we define the bounds of ANP mixotrophy, calculate the potential metabolic advantages, and discuss the viability in a number of host organisms. Additionally, we highlight recent accomplishments in the field, including the recent discovery of electron bifurcation in acetogens, and close with recommendations to realize mixotrophic biofuel and biochemical production.

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