n-Butanol Production by Rhodopseudomonas palustris TIE-1

WashU affiliated authors: Wei Bai (Dept. of Energy, Environmental, and Chemical Engineering); Tahina Onina Ranaivoarisoa; Rajesh Singh; Karthikeyan Rengasamy; Arpita Bose (Dept. of Biology) 

Abstract: Anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) release in the atmosphere from fossil fuel combustion has inspired scientists to study CO2 to biofuel conversion. Oxygenic phototrophs such as cyanobacteria have been used to produce biofuels using CO2. However, oxygen generation during oxygenic photosynthesis adversely affects biofuel production efficiency. To produce n-butanol (biofuel) from CO2, here we introduce an n-butanol biosynthesis pathway into an anoxygenic (non-oxygen evolving) photoautotroph, Rhodopseudomonas palustris TIE-1 (TIE-1). Using different carbon, nitrogen, and electron sources, we achieve n-butanol production in wild-type TIE-1 and mutants lacking electron-consuming (nitrogen-fixing) or acetyl-CoA-consuming (polyhydroxybutyrate and glycogen synthesis) pathways. The mutant lacking the nitrogen-fixing pathway produce the highest n-butanol. Coupled with novel hybrid bioelectrochemical platforms, this mutant produces n-butanol using CO2, solar panel-generated electricity, and light with high electrical energy conversion efficiency. Overall, this approach showcases TIE-1 as an attractive microbial chassis for carbon-neutral n-butanol bioproduction using sustainable, renewable, and abundant resources.

Citation or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-021-02781-z