Bioscience

Forget switchgrass

March 30, 2010

By Flinn Foundation

[Source: Scientific Blogging] – Arizona State University researchers have reengineered the genetics of cyanobacteria, producing mutant strains that continuously secrete fatty acids through their cell walls. The reprogramming has essentially turned the microbes into tiny biofuel production facilities.

By Introducing an enzyme called thioesterase into cyanobacteria researchers were able to coax them into overproducing fatty acids. Accumulation within the cells eventually caused these fatty acids to leak out through the cell membrane, through the process of diffusion.

For more information: Forget Switchgrass – Microbes Could Be New Biofuel Source