Wednesday 2 February 2022

Bioreactors and engineered bacteria advance biofuel research


Researchers from the University of Kent's School of Biosciences have designed and built equipment that can be used to investigate bacterial biofuel production at a fraction of the cost of commercial systems. This technology was then used to demonstrate that bacterial genetic engineering could be used to enhance biofuel production.



Commercial equipment used to study biofuel-producing bacteria can be prohibitively expensive, which prompted the team to build their own bioreactors that are accessible to most research laboratories. The researchers then used this equipment to verify that one of their genetically engineered variants of Clostridium bacteria could produce the biofuel butanol more rapidly.


It is expected that this work will improve accessibility to cheaper bioreactors to stimulate wider research into biofuel production using natural and engineered bacteria.




Taylor I. Monaghan, Joseph A. Baker, Preben Krabben, E. Timothy Davies, Elizabeth R. Jenkinson, Ian B. Goodhead, Gary K. Robinson, Mark Shepherd. Deletion of glyceraldehyde‐3‐phosphate dehydrogenase ( gapN ) in Clostridium saccharoperbutylacetonicum N1‐4(HMT) using CLEAVE™ increases the ATP pool and accelerates solvent production. Microbial Biotechnology, 2021; DOI: 10.1111/1751-7915.13990


Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology Resources (

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