Single, Key Gene Discovery Could Streamline Production Of Biofuels

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Nano Patents and Innovations

August 15, 2011

By Alton Parrish

A team of researchers from the Department of Energy's BioEnergy Science Center has pinpointed a single, key gene in a microbe that could help streamline the production of biofuels from non-food sources.

Led by Steven Brown of DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the team identified a key gene responsible for ethanol tolerance in Clostridium thermocellum, a microorganism under consideration for use in a new biofuel production technique called consolidated bioprocessing, or CBP.

Researchers at ORNL's BioEnergy Science Center have identified a single gene -- represented in this protein structure visualization -- that is responsible for ethanol tolerance in C. thermocelllum. More ethanol-tolerant strains of the microbe could boost ethanol production from woody crops. ...

The team, supported by BESC at ORNL, included Adam Guss, Tatiana Karpinets, Jerry Parks, Nikolai Smolin, Shihui Yang, Miriam Land, Dawn Klingeman, Miguel Rodriguez, Babu Raman, Jonathan Mielenz, Jeremy Smith and Martin Keller from ORNL, and Ashwini Bhandiwad, Xiongjun Shao and Lee Lynd from Dartmouth

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