(19)
(11)EP 2 285 948 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
08.01.2014 Bulletin 2014/02

(21)Application number: 09717082.3

(22)Date of filing:  03.03.2009
(51)Int. Cl.: 
C12M 1/00  (2006.01)
C12M 3/00  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2009/035937
(87)International publication number:
WO 2009/111513 (11.09.2009 Gazette  2009/37)

(54)

ENGINEERED CO2 FIXING MICROORGANISMS PRODUCING CARBON-BASED PRODUCTS OF INTEREST

KONSTRUIERTE CO2 FIXIERENDE MIKROORGANISMEN, DIE INTERESSIERENDE PRODUKTE AUF KOHLENSTOFFBASIS PRODUZIEREN

MICROORGANISMES DE SYNTHÈSE FIXANT LE CO2 ET PRODUISANT DES PRODUITS CARBONÉS D INTÉRÊT


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO SE SI SK TR

(30)Priority: 03.03.2008 US 33411 P
03.03.2008 US 33402 P
11.04.2008 US 44419 P
29.05.2008 US 56999 P
02.06.2008 US 58182 P
02.07.2008 US 77698 P
10.07.2008 US 79687 P
10.07.2008 US 79688 P
10.07.2008 US 79656 P
10.07.2008 US 79665 P
10.07.2008 US 79667 P
10.07.2008 US 79673 P
10.07.2008 US 79676 P
10.07.2008 US 79707 P
10.07.2008 US 79699 P
10.07.2008 US 79692 P
05.08.2008 US 86291 P
05.08.2008 US 86288 P
05.08.2008 US 86283 P
05.08.2008 US 86285 P
05.08.2008 US 86417 P
05.08.2008 US 86418 P
05.08.2008 US 86296 P
05.08.2008 US 86300 P
05.08.2008 US 86407 P
05.08.2008 US 86410 P
05.08.2008 US 86412 P
05.08.2008 US 86414 P
26.09.2008 US 100656 P
26.09.2008 US 100665 P
26.09.2008 US 100667 P
26.09.2008 US 100660 P
26.09.2008 US 100663 P
17.10.2008 US 106543 P
10.12.2008 US 121532 P

(43)Date of publication of application:
23.02.2011 Bulletin 2011/08

(60)Divisional application:
13195355.6

(73)Proprietor: Joule Unlimited Technologies, Inc.
Bedford, MA 01730 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • BERRY, David, A.
    Cambridge, MA 02142 (US)
  • ROBERTSON, Dan, E.
    Cambridge, MA 02142 (US)
  • SKRALY, Frank, A.
    Cambridge, MA 02142 (US)
  • GREEN, Brian, D.
    Cambridge, MA 02142 (US)
  • RIDLEY, Christian, P.
    Cambridge, MA 02142 (US)
  • KOSURI, Sriram
    Cambridge, MA 02142 (US)
  • REPPAS, Nikos, B.
    Cambridge, MA 02142 (US)
  • SHOLL, Martha
    Cambridge, MA 02142 (US)
  • AFEYAN, Noubar, B.
    Cambridge, MA 02142 (US)

(74)Representative: Campbell, Patrick John Henry 
J A Kemp 14 South Square Gray's Inn
London WC1R 5JJ
London WC1R 5JJ (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
US-A- 5 162 516
US-A1- 2002 042 111
US-A1- 2005 124 010
US-B1- 6 632 631
US-B2- 7 026 527
US-A- 5 304 475
US-A1- 2005 014 241
US-A1- 2005 239 179
US-B1- 7 122 331
  
  • DENG M-D ET AL: "Ethanol synthesis by genetic engineering in cyanobacteria", APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR MICROBIOLOGY, US, vol. 65, no. 2, 1 February 1999 (1999-02-01), pages 523-528, XP003016237, ISSN: 0099-2240
  • KENTARO INOKUMA ET AL: "Characterization of enzymes involved in the ethanol production of Moorella sp. HUC22-1", ARCHIVES OF MICROBIOLOGY, SPRINGER, BERLIN, DE, vol. 1881, no. 1, 22 February 2007 (2007-02-22), pages 37-45, XP019511886, ISSN: 1432-072X, DOI: 10.1007/S00203-007-0221-1
  • R. VIDAL ET AL: "Characterization of an Alcohol Dehydrogenase from the Cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. Strain PCC 6803 That Responds to Environmental Stress Conditions via the Hik34-Rre1 Two-Component System", JOURNAL OF BACTERIOLOGY, vol. 191, no. 13, 1 May 2009 (2009-05-01), pages 4383-4391, XP55016593, ISSN: 0021-9193, DOI: 10.1128/JB.00183-09
  • GENIN ET AL.: 'Ralstonia Solanacearum: Secrets of a Major Pathogen Unveiled by Analysis of Its Genome.' MOLECULAR PLANT PATHOLOGY vol. 3, no. 3, 2002, pages 111 - 118, XP008132318
  • INOKUMA ET AL.: 'Characterization of Enzymes Involved in the Ethanol Production of Moorella sp. HUC22-1.' ARCH. MICROBIOL. vol. 188, 2007, pages 37 - 45, XP019511886
  • LLOYD ET AL.: 'Topology of the Escherichia Coli UhpT Sugar-Phosphate Transporter Analyzed by Using TnphoA Fusions.' JOURNAL OF BACTERIOLOGY April 1990, pages 1688 - 1693, XP008132319
  • WEISSER ET AL.: 'Functional Expression of the Glucose Transporter of Zymomonas Mobilis Leads to Restoration of Glucose and Fructose Uptake in Escherichia coli Mutants and Provides Evidence for Its Facilitator Action.' JOURNAL OF BACTERIOLOGY June 1995, pages 3351 - 3354, XP002053706
  • COHEN ET AL.: 'Functional Expression of Rat GLUT 1 Glucose Transporter in Dictyostelium Discoideum.' BIOCHEM. J. vol. 315, 1996, pages 971 - 975, XP002301321
  • CHO ET AL.: 'Escherichia Coli Thioesterase I, Molecular Cloning and Sequencing of the Structural Gene and Identification as a Periplasmic Enzyme.' JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY vol. 268, no. 13, 05 May 1993, pages 9238 - 9245, XP008132321
  
Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


Description

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS



[0001] This application claims the benefit of US Provisional Application No. 61/033,411 filed March 3, 2008; US Provisional Application No. 61/033,402, filed March 3, 2008; US Provisional Application No. 61/044,419 filed April 11, 2008; US Provisional Application No. 61/106,543 filed October 17, 2008; and US Provisional Application No. 61/121,532 filed December 10, 2008.

FIELD



[0002] The present disclosure relates to mechanisms to confer production of carbon-based products to a photoautotrophic organism such that it efficiently converts carbon dioxide and light into various carbon-based products, and in particular the use of such organisms for the commercial production of various carbon-based products of interest.

BACKGROUND



[0003] Photosynthesis is a process by which biological entities utilize sunlight and CO2 to produce sugars for energy. Photosynthesis, as naturally evolved, is an extremely complex system with numerous and poorly understood feedback loops, control mechanisms, and process inefficiencies. This complicated system presents likely insurmountable obstacles to either one-factor-at-a-time or global optimization approaches [Nedbal et al., Photosynth Res., 93(1-3):223-34 (2007); Salvucci et al., Physiol Plant., 120(2):179-186 (2004); Greene et al., Biochem J., 404(3):517-24 (2007)].

[0004] Existing photoautotrophic organisms (i.e., plants, algae, and photosynthetic bacteria) are poorly suited for industrial bioprocessing and have therefore not demonstrated commercial viability for this purpose. Such organisms have slow doubling time (3-72 hrs) compared to industrialized heterotrophic organisms such as Escherichia coli (20 minutes), reflective of low total productivities. In addition, techniques for genetic manipulation (knockout, over-expression of transgenes via integration or episomic plasmid propagation) are inefficient, time-consuming, laborious, or non-existent.

SUMMARY



[0005] Described herein are pathways and mechanisms to confer direct carbon-based products producing capacity to photoautotrophic organisms. The resultant engineered carbon-based products-producing photoautotrophs uniquely enable the efficient production of carbon-based products directly from carbon dioxide and light, eliminating the time-consuming and expensive processing steps currently required to generate biofuels and biochemicals from biomass sources including corn, sugar cane, miscanthus, cellulose, and others. The invention provides a genetically modified photosynthetic microbial host cell that produces ethanol, wherein the host cell is genetically modified to comprise an exogenous engineered nucleic acid that encodes a NADPH-dependent alcohol dehydrogenase activity. The invention also provides use of the cell of the invention for producing ethanol and a method for producing ethanol, comprising culturing the cell of the invention and then isolating the ethanol from said cell or culture medium.

[0006] In some aspects, ethanol production is optimized by channeling carbon away from glycogen and toward pyruvate, etc. during light exposure. Normally glycogen is formed in the light and it is consumed for reducing power in the dark. In one embodiment, glycogen-synthesis genes are attenuated or knocked out and in other embodiments, glycolytic genes are made constitutive. In other aspects, certain fermentative pathways, such as those leading to acetate, lactate, succinate, etc., if present, are eliminated.

[0007] Still in other aspects, if light-dark cycle is to be implemented, glycogen production is optimize during light exposure (as opposed to biomass, etc.) and increased in % of dry cell weight that can be glycogen (i.e., the cell is engineered to defeat any limitation that keeps the cells from swelling full of glycogen). Then, during the dark, ethanol synthesis is allowed to proceed from the accumulated glycogen, having attenuated or knocked out the other fermentative pathways. Furthermore, using a light-dark cycle that matches rates of glycogen synthesis/catabolism such that minimal time is wasted. is disclosed (glycogen doesn't run out and the cells sit unproductively in the dark, or there is too much glycogen to consume completely during the dark period).

[0008] The engineered nucleic acid comprised by the cell of the invention encodes a NADPH-dependent alcohol dehydrogenase activity. In one embodiment, the NADPH-dependent alcohol dehydrogenase activity is Moorella sp. HUC22-1 adhA. The NADPH-dependent alcohol dehydrogenase coding sequence may be at least 77.1% identical to SEQ ID NO: 1. The NADPH-dependent alcohol dehydrogenase may be at least 72% identical to SEQ ID NO: 2.

[0009] In another embodiment, the cell of the invention also encodes a pyruvate decarboxylase activity. In a related embodiment, the pyruvate decarboxylase activity is selected from Z. palmae and Z. mobilis pdc activity. The NADPH-dependent alcohol dehydrogenase coding sequence and/or the pyruvate decarboxylene coding sequence may be under the control of an inducible promoter.

[0010] In certain embodiments, the cell of the invention, in culture, is capable of producing ethanol in a yield of at least about 249 mg/L culture medium in 72 hours. In certain other embodiments, the yield is at least about 296 mg/L of ethanol over 72 hours. In still other embodiments, the ethanol yield is 2.5 to 5 g/L culture medium-per hr. In other embodiments, the level of acetaldehyde in said culture after 72 hours is less than about 14 mg/L. In other embodiments, the cell in culture produces at least about 36mg/L of ethanol per OD, or at least about 47 mg/L of ethanol per OD.

[0011] In additional embodiments, the genetically modified cell provided by the invention comprises acell selected from algae, cyanobacteria, green-sulfur bacteria, green non-sulfur bacteria, purple sulfur bacteria, purple non-sulfur bacteria, extremophiles, yeast, fungi, engineered organisms thereof, and synthetic organisms. The cell is photosynthetic. The cell of the invention may be an algae and/or cyanobacterial organism selected from the group consisting of Acanthoceras, Acanthococcus, Acaryochloris, Achnanthes, Achnanthidium, Actinastrum, Actinochloris, Actinocyclus, Actinotaenium, Amphichrysis, Amphidinium, Amphikrikos, Amphipleura, Amphiprora, Amphithrix, Amphora, Anabaena, Anabaenopsis, Aneumastus, Ankistrodesmus, Ankyra, Anomoeoneis, Apatococcus, Aphanizomenon, Aphanocapsa, Aphanochaete, Aphanothece, Apiocystis, Apistonema, Arthrodesmus, Artherospira, Ascochloris, Asterionella, Asterococcus, Audouinella, Aulacoseira, Bacillaria, Balbiania, Bambusina, Bangia, Basichlamys, Batrachospermum, Binuclearia, Bitrichia, Blidingia, Botrdiopsis, Botrydium, Botryococcus, Botryosphaerella, Brachiomonas, Brachysira, Brachytrichia, Brebissonia, Bulbochaete, Bumilleria, Bumilleriopsis, Caloneis, Calothrix, Campylodiscus, Capsosiphon, Carteria, Catena, Cavinula, Centritractus, Centronella, Ceratium, Chaetoceros, Chaetochloris, Chaetomorpha, Chaetonella, Chaetonema, Chaetopeltis, Chaetophora, Chaetosphaeridium, Chamaesiphon, Chara, Characiochloris, Characiopsis, Characium, Charales, Chilomonas, Chlainomonas, Chlamydoblepharis, Chlamydocapsa, Chlamydomonas, Chlamydomonopsis, Chlamydomyxa, Chlamydonephris, Chlorangiella, Chlorangiopsis, Chlorella, Chlorobotrys, Chlorobrachis, Chlorochytrium, Chlorococcum, Chlorogloea, Chlorogloeopsis, Chlorogonium, Chlorolobion, Chloromonas, Chlorophysema, Chlorophyta, Chlorosaccus, Chlorosarcina, Choricystis, Chromophyton, Chromulina, Chroococcidiopsis, Chroococcus, Chroodactylon, Chroomonas, Chroothece, Chrysamoeba, Chrysapsis, Chrysidiastrum, Chrysocapsa, Chrysocapsella, Chrysochaete, Chrysochromulina, Chrysococcus, Chrysocrinus, Chrysolepidomonas, Chrysolykos, Chrysonebula, Chrysophyta, Chrysopyxis, Chrysosaccus, Chrysophaerella, Chrysostephanosphaera, Clodophora, Clastidium, Closteriopsis, Closterium, Coccomyxa, Cocconeis, Coelastrella, Coelastrum, Coelosphaerium, Coenochloris, Coenococcus, Coenocystis, Colacium, Coleochaete, Collodictyon, Compsogonopsis, Compsopogon, Conjugatophyta, Conochaete, Coronastrum, Cosmarium, Cosmioneis, Cosmocladium, Crateriportula, Craticula, Crinalium, Crucigenia, Crucigeniella, Cryptoaulax, Cryptomonas, Cryptophyta, Ctenophora, Cyanodictyon, Cyanonephron, Cyanophora, Cyanophyta, Cyanothece, Cyanothomonas, Cyclonexis, Cyclostephanos, Cyclotella, Cylindrocapsa, Cylindrocystis, Cylindrospermum, Cylindrotheca, Cymatopleura, Cymbella, Cymbellonitzschia, Cystodinium Dactylococcopsis, Debarya, Denticula, Dermatochrysis, Dentiocarpa, Dermocarpella, Desmatractum, Desmidium, Desmococcus, Desmonema, Desmosiphon, Diacanthos, Diacronema, Diadesmis, Diatoma, Diatomella, Dicellula, Dichothrix, Dichotomococcus, Dicranochaete, Dictyochloris, Dictyococcus, Dictyosphaerium, Didymocystis, Didymogenes, Didymosphenia, Dilabifilum, Dimorphococcus, Dinobryon, Dinococcus, Diplochloris, Diploneis, Diplostauron, Distrionella, Docidium, Draparnaldia, Dunaliella, Dysmorphococcus, Ecballocystis, Elakatothrix, Ellerbeckia, Encyonema, Enteromorpha, Entocladia, Entomoneis, Entophysalis, Epichrysis, Epipyxis, Epithemia, Eremosphaera, Euastropsis, Euastrum, Eucapsis, Eucocconeis, Eudorina, Euglena, Euglenophyta, Eunotia, Eustigmatophyta, Eutreptia, Fallacia, Fischerella, Fragilaria, Fragilariforma, Franceia, Frustulia, Curcilla, Geminella, Genicularia, Glaucocystis, Glaucophyta, Glenodiniopsis, Glenodinium, Gloeocapsa, Gloeochaete, Gloeochrysis, Gloeococcus, Gloeocystis, Gloeodendron, Gloeomonas, Gloeoplax, Gloeothece, Gloeotila, Gloeotrichia, Gloiodictyon, Golenkinia, Golenkiniopsis, Gomontia, Gomphocymbella, Gomphonema, Gomphosphaeria, Gonatozygon, Gongrosia, Gongrosira, Goniochloris, Gonium, Gonyostomum, Granulochloris, Granulocystopsis, Groenbladia, Gymnodinium, Gymnozyga, Gyrosigma, Haematococcus, Hafniomonas, Hallassia, Hammatoidea, Hannaea, Hantzschia, Hapalosiphon, Haplotaenium, Haptophyta, Haslea, Hemidinium, Hemitoma, Heribaudiella, Heteromastix, Heterothrix, Hibberdia, Hildenbrandia, Hillea, Holopedium, Homoeothrix, Hormanthonema, Hormotila, Hyalobrachion, Hyalocardium, Hyalodiscus, Hyalogonium, Hyalotheca, Hydrianum, Hydrococcus, Hydrocoleum, Hydrocoryne, Hydrodictyon, Hydrosera, Hydrurus, Hyella, Hymenomonas, Isthmochloron, Johannesbaptistia, Juranyiella, Karayevia, Kathablepharis, Katodinium, Kephyrion, Keratococcus, Kirchneriella, Klebsormidium, Kolbesia, Koliella, Komarekia, Korshikoviella, Kraskella, Lagerheimia, Lagynion, Lamprothamnium, Lemanea, Lepocinclis, Leptosira, Lobococcus, Lobocystis, Lobomonas, Luticola, Lyngbya, Malleochloris, Mallomonas, Mantoniella, Marssoniella, Martyana, Mastigocoleus, Gastogloia, Melosira, Merismopedia, Mesostigma, Mesotaenium, Micractinium, Micrasterias, Microchaete, Microcoleus, Microcystis, Microglena, Micromonas, Microspora, Microthamnion, Mischococcus, Monochrysis, Monodus, Monomastix, Monoraphidium, Monostroma, Mougeotia, Mougeotiopsis, Myochloris, Myromecia, Myxosarcina, Naegeliella, Nannochloris, Nautococcus, Navicula, Neglectella, Neidium, Nephroclamys, Nephrocytium, Nephrodiella, Nephroselmis, Netrium, Nitella, Nitellopsis, Nitzschia, Nodularia, Nostoc, Ochromonas, Oedogonium, Oligochaetophora, Onychonema, Oocardium, Oocystis, Opephora, Ophiocytium, Orthoseira, Oscillatoria, Oxyneis, Pachycladella, Palmella, Palmodictyon, Pnadorina, Pannus, Paralia, Pascherina, Paulschulzia, Pediastrum, Pedinella, Pedinomonas, Pedinopera, Pelagodictyon, Penium, Peranema, Peridiniopsis, Peridinium, Peronia, Petroneis, Phacotus, Phacus, Phaeaster, Phaeodermatium, Phaeophyta, Phaeosphaera, Phaeothamnion, Phormidium, Phycopeltis, Phyllariochloris, Phyllocardium, Phyllomitas, Pinnularia, Pitophora, Placoneis, Planctonema, Planktosphaeria, Planothidium, Plectonema, Pleodorina, Pleurastrum, Pleurocapsa, Pleurocladia, Pleurodiscus, Pleurosigma, Pleurosira, Pleurotaenium, Pocillononas, Podohedra, Polyblepharides, Polychaetophora, Polyedriella, Polyedriopsis, Polygoniochloris, Polyepidomonas, Polytaenia, Polytoma, Polytomella, Porphyridium, Posteriochromonas, Prasinochloris, Prasinocladus, Prasinophyta, Prasiola, Prochlorphyta, Prochlorothrix, Protoderma, Protosiphon, Provasoliella, Prymnesium, Psammodictyon, Psammothidium, Pseudanabaena, Pseudenoclonium, Psuedocarteria, Pseudochate, Pseudocharacium, Pseudococcomyxa, Pseudodictyosphaerium, Pseudokephyrion, Pseudoncobyrsa, Pseudoquadrigula, Pseudosphaerocystis, Pseudostaurastrum, Pseudostaurosira, Pseudotetrastrum, Pteromonas, Punctastruata, Pyramichlamys, Pyramimonas, Pyrrophyta, Quadrichloris, Quadricoccus, Quadrigula, Radiococcus, Radiofilum, Raphidiopsis, Raphidocelis, Raphidonema, Raphidophyta, Peimeria, Rhabdoderma, Rhabdomonas, Rhizoclonium, Rhodomonas, Rhodophyta, Rhoicosphenia, Rhopalodia, Rivularia, Rosenvingiella, Rossithidium, Roya, Scenedesmus, Scherffelia, Schizochlamydella, Schizochlamys, Schizomeris, Schizothrix, Schroederia, Scolioneis, Scotiella, Scotiellopsis, Scourfìeldia, Scytonema, Selenastrum, Selenochloris, Sellaphora, Semiorbis, Siderocelis, Diderocystopsis, Dimonsenia, Siphononema, Sirocladium, Sirogonium, Skeletonerna, Sorastrum, Spermatozopsis, Sphaerellocystis, Sphaerellopsis, Sphaerodinium, Sphaeroplea, Sphaerozosma, Spiniferomonas, Spirogyra, Spirotaenia, Spirulina, Spondylomorum, Spondylosium, Sporotetras, Spumella, Staurastrum, Stauerodesmus, Stauroneis, Staurosira, Staurosirella, Stenopterobia, Stephanocostis, Stephanodiscus, Stephanoporos, Stephanosphaera, Stichococcus, Stichogloea, Stigeoclonium, Stigonema, Stipitococcus, Stokesiella, Strombomonas, Stylochrysalis, Stylodinium, Styloyxis, Stylosphaeridium, Surirella, Sykidion, Symploca, Synechococcus, Synechocystis, Synedra, Synochromonas, Synura, Tabellaria, Tabularia, Teilingia, Temnogametum, Tetmemorus, Tetrachlorella, Tetracyclus, Tetradesmus, Tetraedriella, Tetraedron, Tetraselmis, Tetraspora, Tetrastrum, Thalassiosira, Thamniochaete, Thermosynechococcus, Thorakochloris, Thorea, Tolypella, Tolypothrix, Trachelomonas, Trachydiscus, Trebouxia, Trentepholia, Treubaria, Tribonema, Trichodesmium, Trichodiscus, Trochiscia, Tryblionella, Ulothrix, Uroglena, Uronema, Urosolenia, Urospora, Uva, Vacuolaria, Vaucheria, Volvox, Volvulina, Westella, Woloszynskia, Xanthidium, Xanthophyta, Xenococcus, Zygnema, Zygnemopsis, and Zygonium. The cell provided by the invention may be derived from a Chloroflexus, Chloronema, Oscillochloris, Heliothrix, Herpetosiphon, Roseiflexus, and Thermomicrobium cell; a green sulfur bacteria selected from: Chlorobium, Clathrochloris, and Prosthecochloris; a purple sulfur bacteria selected from: Allochromatium, Chromatium, Halochromatium, Isochromatium, Marichromatium, Rhodovulum, Thermochromatium, Thiocapsa, Thiorhodococcus, and Thiocystis; a purple non-sulfur bacteria is selected from: Phaeospirillum, Rhodobaca, Rhodobacter, Rhodomicrobium, Rhodopila, Rhodopseudomonas, Rhodothalassium, Rhodospirillum, Rodovibrio, and Roseospira; an aerobic chemolithotrophic bacteria selected from: nitrifying bacteria. Nitrobacteraceae sp., Nitrobacter sp., Nitrospina sp., Nitrococcus sp., Nitrospira sp., Nitrosomonas sp., Nitrosococcus sp., Nitrosospira sp., Nitrosolobus sp., Nitrosovibrio sp.; colorless sulfur bacteria such as, Thiovulum sp., Thiobacillus sp., Thiomicrospira sp., Thiosphaera sp., Thermothrix sp.; obligately chemolithotrophic hydrogen bacteria, Hydrogenobacter sp., iron and manganese-oxidizing and/or depositing bacteria, Siderococcus sp., and magnetotactic bacteria, Aquaspirillum sp; an archaeobacteria selected from: methanogenic archaeobacteria, Methanobacterium sp., Methanobrevibacter sp., Methanothermus sp., Methanococcus sp., Methanomicrobium sp., Methanospirillum sp., Methanogenium sp., Methanosarcina sp., Methanolobus sp., Methanothrix sp., Methanococcoides sp., Methanoplanus sp.; extremely thermophilic sulfur-Metabolizers such as Thermoproteus sp., Pyrodictium sp., Sulfolobus sp., Acidianus sp., Bacillus subtilis, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Streptomyces sp., Ralstonia sp., Rhodococcus sp., Corynebacteria sp., Brevibacteria sp., Mycobacteria sp., and oleaginous yeast; and extremophile selected from Pyrolobus fumarii; Synechococcus lividis, mesophiles, psychrophiles, Psychrobacter, insects, Deinococcus radiodurans, piezophiles, barophiles, hypergravity tolerant organisms, hypogravity tolerant organisms, vacuum tolerant organisms, tardigrades, insects, microbes seeds, dessicant tolerant anhydrobiotic organisms; xerophiles, Artemia salina, nematodes, microbes, fungi, lichens, salt tolerant organisms halophiles, halobacteriacea, Dunaliella salina, pH tolerant organisms, alkaliphiles, Natronobacterium, Bacillus firmus OF4, Spirulina spp., acidophiles, Cyanidium caldarium, Ferroplasma sp., anaerobes, which cannot tolerate O2, Methanococcus jannaschii, microaerophils, which tolerate some O2, Clostridium, aerobes, which require O2, gas tolerant organisms, which tolerate pure CO2, Cyanidium caldarium, metal tolerant organisms, metalotolerants, Ferroplasma acidarmanus Ralstonia sp. CH34.

[0012] In yet other embodiments, the genetically modified cell provided by the invention is derived from Botryococcus braunii, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Dunaliela salina (algae), Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002, Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942, Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, and Thermosynechococcus elongatus BP-1 (cyanobacteria), Chlorobium tepidum (green sulfur bacteria), Chloroflexus auranticus (green non-sulfur bacteria), Chromatium tepidum and Chromatium vinosum (purple sulfur bacteria), Rhodospirillum rubrum, Rhodobacter capsulatus, and Rhodopseudomonas palusris (purple non-sulfur bacteria).

[0013] In still other embodiments, the genetically modified cell provided by the invention is a Clostridium ljungdahlii, Clostridium thermocellum, Penicillium chrysogenum, Pichia pastoris, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Pseudomonas fluorescens, or Zymomonas mobilis cell.

[0014] In the method of the invention, the cell may be cultured in a photobioreactor.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES



[0015] 

Figure 1(A-O) provides various genes identified that can be expressed, upregulated, attenuated or knocked out in engineering carbon dioxide fixing microorganisms in the production of carbon-based products of interest.

Figure 2 provides an example of pathways to produce ethanol, succinate and other derivates.

Figure 3 shows the GC/FID chromatogram of the control Synechococcus 7002 strain.

Figure 4 shows the GC/FID chromatogram of the 7002/efe_rs recombinant strain.

Figure 5 graphically illustrates optical density of select ethanologens over time.

Figure 6 graphically illustrates ethanol concentrations of cultures in the supernatant over time.

Figure 7 graphically illustrates acetaldehdye concentrations of cultures in the supernatant over time.

Figure 8 graphically illustrates ethanol to acetaldehyde ratios of cultures in the supernatant over time.

Figure 9 graphically illustrates ratios of ethanol concentration to OD (730nm) of cultures in the supernatant over time.


DETAILED DESCRIPTION


Abbreviations and Terms



[0016] The following explanations of terms and methods are provided to better describe the present disclosure and to guide those of ordinary skill in the art in the practice of the present disclosure. As used herein, "comprising" means "including" and the singular forms "a" or "an" or "the" include plural references unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. For example, reference to "comprising a cell" includes one or a plurality of such cells, and reference to "comprising the thioesterase" includes reference to one or more thioesterase peptides and equivalents thereof known to those of ordinary skill in the art, and so forth. The term "or" refers to a single element of stated alternative elements or a combination of two or more elements, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

[0017] Unless explained otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood to one of ordinary skill in the art to which this disclosure belongs. Although methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice or testing of the present disclosure, suitable methods and materials are described below. The materials, methods, and examples are illustrative only and not intended to be limiting. Other features of the disclosure are apparent from the following detailed description and the claims.

[0018] Accession Numbers: The accession numbers throughout this description are derived from the NCBI database (National Center for Biotechnology Information) maintained by the National Institute of Health, U.S.A. The accession numbers are as provided in the database on February 1, 2008.

[0019] Enzyme Classification Numbers (EC): The EC numbers provided throughout this description are derived from the KEGG Ligand database, maintained by the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomics, sponsored in part by the University of Tokyo. The EC numbers are as provided in the database on February 1, 2008.

[0020] Amino acid: Triplets of nucleotides, referred to as codons, in DNA molecules code for amino acid in a peptide. The term codon is also used for the corresponding (and complementary) sequences of three nucleotides in the mRNA into which the DNA sequence is transcribed.

[0021] Attenuate: The term as used herein generally refers to a functional deletion, including a mutation, partial or complete deletion, insertion, or other variation made to a gene sequence or a sequence controlling the transcription of a gene sequence, which reduces or inhibits production of the gene product, or renders the gene product non-functional. In some instances a functional deletion is described as a knockout mutation. Attenuation also includes amino acid sequence changes by altering the nucleic acid sequence, placing the gene under the control of a less active promoter, downregulation, expressing interfering RNA, ribozymes or antisense sequences that target the gene of interest, or through any other technique known in the art. In one example, the sensitivity of a particular enzyme to feedback inhibition or inhibition caused by a composition that is not a product or a reactant (non-pathway specific feedback) is lessened such that the enzyme activity is not impacted by the presence of a compound. In other instances, an enzyme that has been altered to be less active can be referred to as attenuated.

[0022] "Carbon-based Products of Interest" include alcohols such as ethanol, propanol, isopropanol, butanol, fatty alcohols, fatty acid esters, wax esters; hydrocarbons and alkanes such as propane, octane, diesel, Jet Propellant 8, polymers such as terephthalate, 1,3-propanediol, 1,4-butanediol, polyols, polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), polyhydroxybutyrates (PHBs), acrylate, adipic acid, ε-caprolactone, isoprene, caprolactam, rubber; commodity chemicals such as lactate, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), 3-hydroxypropionate, γ-valerolactone, lysine, serine, aspartate, aspartic acid, sorbitol, ascorbate, ascorbic acid, isopentenol, lanosterol, omega-3 DHA, lycopene, itaconate, 1,3-butadiene, ethylene, propylene, succinate, citrate, citric acid, glutamate, malate, 3-hydroxyprionic acid (HPA), lactic acid, THF, gamma butyrolactone, pyrrolidones, hydroxybutyrate, glutamic acid, levulinic acid, acrylic acid, malonic acid; specialty chemicals such as carotenoids, isoprenoids, itaconic acid; pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical intermediates such as 7-aminodesacetoxycephalosporonic acid, cephalosporin, erythromycin, polyketides, statins, paclitaxel, docetaxel, terpenes, peptides, steroids, omega fatty acids and other such suitable products of interest. Such products are useful in the context of biofuels, industrial and specialty chemicals, as intermediates used to make additional products, such as nutritional supplements, neutraceuticals, polymers, paraffin replacements, personal care products and pharmaceuticals.

[0023] Deletion: The removal of one or more nucleotides from a nucleic acid molecule or one or more amino acids from a protein, the regions on either side being joined together.

[0024] DNA: Deoxyribonucleic acid. DNA is a long chain polymer which includes the genetic material of most living organisms (some viruses have genes including ribonucleic acid, RNA). The repeating units in DNA polymers are four different nucleotides, each of which includes one of the four bases, adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine bound to a deoxyribose sugar to which a phosphate group is attached.

[0025] Endogenous: As used herein with reference to a nucleic acid molecule and a particular cell or microorganism refers to a nucleic acid sequence or peptide that is in the cell and was not introduced into the cell (or its progentors) using recombinant engineering techniques. For example, a gene that was present in the cell when the cell was originally isolated from nature. A gene is still considered endogenous if the control sequences, such as a promoter or enhancer sequences that activate transcription or translation have been altered through recombinant techniques.

[0026] "An enzyme activity": As used herein, the term "an enzyme activity" means that the indicated enzyme (e.g., "an alcohol dehydrogenase activity") has measurable attributes in terms of, e.g., substrate specific activity, pH and temperature optima, and other standard measures of enzyme activity as the activity encoded by a reference enzyme (e.g., alcohol dehydrogenase). Furthermore, the enzyme is at least 90% identical at a nucleic or amino acid level to the sequence of the reference enzyme as measured by a BLAST search.

[0027] Exogenous: As used herein with reference to a nucleic acid molecule and a particular cell or microorganism refers to a nucleic acid sequence or peptide that was not present in the cell when the cell was originally isolated from nature. For example, a nucleic acid that originated in a different microorganism and was engineered into an alternate cell using recombinant DNA techniques or other methods for delivering said nucleic acid is exogenous.

[0028] Expression: The process by which a gene's coded information is converted into the structures and functions of a cell, such as a protein, transfer RNA, or ribosomal RNA. Expressed genes include those that are transcribed into mRNA and then translated into protein and those that are transcribed into RNA but not translated into protein (for example, transfer and ribosomal RNAs).

[0029] Expression Control Sequence: as used herein refers to polynucleotide sequences which are necessary to affect the expression of coding sequences to which they are operatively linked. Expression control sequences are sequences which control the transcription, post-transcriptional events and translation of nucleic acid sequences. Expression control sequences include appropriate transcription initiation, termination, promoter and enhancer sequences; efficient RNA processing signals such as splicing and polyadenylation signals; sequences that stabilize cytoplasmic mRNA; sequences that enhance translation efficiency (e.g., ribosome binding sites); sequences that enhance protein stability; and when desired, sequences that enhance protein secretion. The nature of such control sequences differs depending upon the host organism; in prokaryotes, such control sequences generally include promoter, ribosomal binding site, and transcription termination sequence. The term "control sequences" is intended to include, at a minimum, all components whose presence is essential for expression, and can also include additional components whose presence is advantageous, for example, leader sequences and fusion partner sequences.

[0030] Overexpression: When a gene is caused to be transcribed at an elevated rate compared to the endogenous transcription rate for that gene. In some examples, overexpression additionally includes an elevated rate of translation of the gene compared to the endogenous translation rate for that gene. Methods of testing for overexpression are well known in the art, for example transcribed RNA levels can be assessed using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and protein levels can be assessed using sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel elecrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) analysis. Furthermore, a gene is considered to be overexpressed when it exhibits elevated activity compared to its endogenous activity, which may occur, for example, through reduction in concentration or activity of its inhibitor, or via expression of mutant version with elevated activity. In preferred embodiments, when the host cell encodes an endogenous gene with a desired biochemical activity, it is useful to overexpress an exogenous gene, which allows for more explicit regulatory control in the fermentation and a means to potentially mitigate the effects of central metabolism regulation, which is focused around the native genes explicity.

[0031] Downregulation: When a gene is caused to be transcribed at a reduced rate compared to the endogenous gene transcription rate for that gene. In some examples, downregulation additionally includes a reduced level of translation of the gene compared to the endogenous translation rate for that gene. Methods of testing for downregulation are well known to those in the art. For example, the transcribed RNA levels can be assessed using RT-PCR, and protein levels can be assessed using SDS-PAGE analysis.

[0032] Knock-out: A gene whose level of expression or activity has been reduced to zero. In some examples, a gene is knocked-out via deletion of some or all of its coding sequence. In other examples, a gene is knocked-out via introduction of one ore more nucleotides into its open-reading frame, which results in translation of a non-sense or otherwise non-functional protein product.

[0033] Autotroph: Autotrophs (or autotrophic organisms) are organisms that produce complex organic compounds from simple inorganic molecules and an external source of energy, such as light (photoautotroph) or chemical reactions of inorganic compounds.

[0034] Hydrocarbon: The term generally refers to a chemical compound that consists of the elements carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and optionally oxygen (O). There are essentially three types of hydrocarbons, e.g., aromatic hydrocarbons, saturated hydrocarbons and unsaturated hydrocarbons such as alkenes, alkynes, and dienes. The term also includes fuels, biofuels, plastics, waxes; solvents and oils. Hydrocarbons encompass biofuels, as well as plastics, waxes, solvents and oils.

[0035] "Immiscible" or "Immiscibility" refers to the relative inability of a compound to dissolve in water and is defined by the compounds partition coefficient. The partition coefficient, P, is defined as the equilibrium concentration of compound in an organic phase (in a bi-phasic system the organic phase is usually the phase formed by the fatty acid derivative during the production process, however, in some examples an organic phase can be provided (such as a layer of octane to facilitate product separation) divided by the concentration at equilibrium in an aqueous phase (i.e., fermentation broth). When describing a two phase system the P is usually discussed in terms of logP. A compound with a logP of 10 would partition 10: 1 to the organic phase, while a compound of logP of 0.1 would partition 10:1 to the aqueous phase.

[0036] Biosynthetic pathway: Also referred to as "metabolic pathway," refers to a set of anabolic or catabolic biochemical reactions for converting (transmuting) one chemical species into another. For example, a hydrocarbon biosynthetic pathway refers to the set of biochemical reactions that convert inputs and/or metabolites to hydrocarbon product-like intermediates and then to hydrocarbons or hydrocarbon products. Anabolic pathways involve constructing a larger molecule from smaller molecules, a process requiring energy. Catabolic pathways involve breaking down of larger: molecules, often releasing energy.

[0037] Cellulose: Cellulose [(C6H10O5)n] is a long-chain polymer polysaccharide carbohydrate, of beta-glucose. It forms the primary structural component of plants and is not digestible by humans. Cellulose is a common material in plant cell walls and was first noted as such in 1838. It occurs naturally in almost pure form only in cotton fiber; in combination with lignin and any hemicellulose, it is found in all plant material.

[0038] Biofuel: A biofuel is any fuel that derives from a biological source. Biofuel refers to one or more hydrocarbons, one or more alcohols, one or more fatty esters or a mixture thereof. Preferably, liquid hydrocarbons are used.

[0039] "Fuel component" is any compound or a mixture of compounds that are used to formulate a fuel composition. There are "major fuel components" and "minor fuel components." A major fuel component is present in a fuel composition by at least 50% by volume; and a minor fuel component is present in a fuel composition by less than 50%. Fuel additives are minor fuel components. The isoprenoid compounds disclosed herein can be a major component or a minor component, by themselves or in a mixture with other fuel components.

[0040] As used herein, a composition that is a "substantially pure" compound is substantially free of one or more other compounds, i.e., the composition contains greater than 80 vol.%, greater than 90 vol.%, greater than 95 vol.%, greater than 96 vol.%, greater than 97 vol.%, greater than 98 vol.%, greater than 99 vol.%, greater than 99.5 vol.%, greater than 99.6 vol.%, greater than 99.7 vol.%, greater than 99.8 vol.%, or greater than 99.9 vol.% of the compound; or less than 20 vol.%, less than 10 vol.%, less than 5 vol.%, less than 3 vol.%, less than 1 vol.%, less than 0.5 vol.%, less than 0.1 vol.%, or less than 0.01 vol.% of the one or more other compounds, based on the total volume of the composition.

[0041] Nucleic Acid Molecule: The term encompasses both RNA and DNA molecules including, without limitation, cDNA, genomic DNA, and mRNA and also includes synthetic nucleic acid molecules, such as those that are chemically synthesized or recombinantly produced. The nucleic acid molecule can be double-stranded or single-stranded, circular or linear. If single-stranded, the nucleic acid molecule can be the sense strand or the antisense strand.

[0042] Engineered nucleic acid: An "engineered nucleic acid" is a nucleic acid molecule that includes at least one difference from a naturally-occurring nucleic acid molecule. An engineered nucleic acid includes all exogenous modified and unmodified heterologous sequences (i.e., sequences derived from an organism or cell other than that harboring the engineered nucleic acid) as well as endogenous genes, operons, coding sequences, or non-coding sequences, that have been modified, mutated, or that include deletions or insertions as compared to a naturally-occuring sequence. Engineered nucleic acids also include all sequences, regardless of origin, that are linked to an inducible promoter or to another control sequence with which they are not naturally associated.

[0043] Suitable fermentation conditions. The term generally refers to fermentation media and conditions adjustable with, pH, temperature, levels of aeration, etc., preferably optimum conditions that allow microorganisms to produce carbon-based products of interest. To determine if culture conditions permit product production, the microorganism can be cultured for about 24 hours to one week after inoculation and a sample can be obtained and analyzed. The cells in the sample or the medium in which the cells are grown are tested for the presence of the desired product.

[0044] Isolated: An "isolated" nucleic acid or polynucleotide (e.g., an RNA, DNA or a mixed polymer) is one which is substantially separated from other cellular components that naturally accompany the native polynucleotide in its natural host cell, e.g., ribosomes, polymerases, and genomic sequences with which it is naturally associated. The term embraces a nucleic acid or polynucleotide that (1) has been removed from its naturally occurring environment, (2) is not associated with all or a portion of a polynucleotide in which the "isolated polynucleotide" is found in nature, (3) is operatively linked to a polynucleotide which it is not linked to in nature, or (4) does not occur in nature. The term "isolated" or "substantially pure" also can be used in reference to recombinant or cloned DNA isolates, chemically synthesized polynucleotide analogs, or polynucleotide analogs that are biologically synthesized by heterologous systems. However, "isolated" does not necessarily require that the nucleic acid or polynucleotide so described has itself been physically removed from its native environment. For instance, an endogenous nucleic acid sequence in the genome of an organism is deemed "isolated" herein if a heterologous sequence (i.e., a sequence that is not naturally adjacent to this endogenous nucleic acid sequence) is placed adjacent to the endogenous nucleic acid sequence, such that the expression of this endogenous nucleic acid sequence is altered. By way of example, a non-native promoter sequence can be substituted (e.g. by homologous recombination) for the native promoter of a gene in the genome of a human cell, such that this gene has an altered expression pattern. This gene would now become "isolated" because it is separated from at least some of the sequences that naturally flank it. A nucleic acid is also considered "isolated" if it contains any modifications that do not naturally occur to the corresponding nucleic acid in a genome. For instance, an endogenous coding sequence is considered "isolated" if it contains an insertion, deletion or a point mutation introduced artificially, e.g. by human intervention. An "isolated nucleic acid" also includes a nucleic acid integrated into a host cell chromosome at a heterologous site, as well as a nucleic acid construct present as an episome. Moreover, an "isolated nucleic acid" can be substantially free of other cellular material, or substantially free of culture medium when produced by recombinant techniques, or substantially free of chemical precursors or other chemicals when chemically synthesized. The term also embraces nucleic acid molecules and proteins prepared by recombinant expression in a host cell as well as chemically synthesized nucleic acid molecules and proteins.

[0045] Operably linked: A first nucleic acid sequence is operably linked with a second nucleic acid sequence when the first nucleic acid sequence is placed in a functional relationship with the second nucleic acid sequence. For instance, a promoter is operably linked to a coding sequence if the promoter affects the transcription or expression of the coding sequence. Generally, operably linked DNA sequences are contiguous and, where necessary to join two protein coding regions, in the same reading frame. Configurations of separate genes that are transcribed in tandem as a single messenger RNA are denoted as operons. Thus placing genes in close proximity, for example in a plasmid vector, under the transcriptional regulation of a single promoter, constitutes a synthetic operon.

[0046] Purified: The term purified does not require absolute purity; rather, it is intended as a relative term. Thus, for example, a purified product preparation, is one in which the product is more concentrated than the product is in its environment within a cell. For example, a purified wax is one that is substantially separated from cellular components (nucleic acids, lipids, carbohydrates, and other peptides) that can accompany it. In another example, a purified wax preparation is one in which the wax is substantially free from contaminants, such as those that might be present following fermentation.

[0047] Detectable: Capable of having an existence or presence ascertained using various analytical methods as described throughout the description or otherwise known to a person skilled in the art.

[0048] Recombinant: A recombinant nucleic acid molecule or protein is one that has a sequence that is not naturally occurring, has a sequence that is made by an artificial combination of two otherwise separated segments of sequence, or both. This artificial combination can be achieved, for example, by chemical synthesis or by the artificial manipulation of isolated segments of nucleic acid molecules or proteins, such as genetic engineering techniques. Recombinant is also used to describe nucleic acid molecules that have been artificially manipulated, but contain the same regulatory sequences and coding regions that are found in the organism from which the nucleic acid was isolated.

[0049] The term "recombinant host cell" ("expression host cell," "expression host system," "expression system," or simply "host cell"), as used herein, refers to a cell into which a recombinant vector has been introduced, e.g., a vector comprising acyl-CoA synthase. It should be understood that such terms are intended to refer not only to the particular subject cell but to the progeny of such a cell. Because certain modifications may occur in succeeding generations due to either mutation or environmental influences, such progeny may not, in fact, be identical to the parent cell, but are still included within the scope of the term "host cell" as used herein. A recombinant host cell may be an isolated cell or cell line grown in culture or may be a cell which resides in a living tissue or organism.

[0050] Release: The movement of a compound from inside a cell (intracellular) to outside a cell (extracellular). The movement can be active or passive. When release is active it can be facilitated by one or more transporter peptides and in some examples it can consume energy. When release is passive, it can be through diffusion through the membrane and can be facilitated by continually collecting the desired compound from the extracellular environment, thus promoting further diffusion. Release of a compound can also be accomplished by lysing a cell.

[0051] Surfactants: Substances capable of reducing the surface tension of a liquid in which they are dissolved. They are typically composed of a water-soluble head and a hydrocarbon chain or tail. The water soluble group is hydrophilic and can be either ionic or nonionic, and the hydrocarbon chain is hydrophobic. Surfactants are used in a variety of products, including detergents and cleaners, and are also used as auxiliaries for textiles, leather and paper, in chemical processes, in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, in the food industry and in agriculture. In addition, they can be used to aid in the extraction and isolation of crude oils which are found in hard to access environments or as water emulsions.

[0052] There are four types of surfactants characterized by varying uses. Anionic surfactants have detergent-like activity and are generally used for cleaning applications. Cationic surfactants contain long chain hydrocarbons and are often used to treat proteins and synthetic polymers or are components of fabric softeners and hair conditioners. Amphoteric surfactants also contain long chain hydrocarbons and are typically used in shampoos. Non-ionic surfactants are generally used in cleaning products.

[0053] Vector: The term "vector" as used herein refers to a nucleic acid molecule capable of transporting another nucleic acid to which it has been linked. One type of vector is a "plasmid," which refers to a circular double-stranded DNA loop into which additional DNA segments may be ligated. Other vectors include cosmids, bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs) and yeast artificial chromosomes (YACs). Another type of vector is a viral vector, wherein additional DNA segments may be ligated into the viral genome (discussed in more detail below). Certain vectors are capable of autonomous replication in a host cell into which they are introduced (e.g., vectors having an origin of replication which functions in the host cell). Other vectors can be integrated into the genome of a host cell upon introduction into the host cell, and are thereby replicated along with the host genome. Moreover, certain preferred vectors are capable of directing the expression of genes to which they are operatively linked. Such vectors are referred to herein as "recombinant expression vectors" (or simply, "expression vectors"). A vector can also include one or more selectable marker genes and other genetic elements known in the art.

[0054] Wax: A variety of fatty acid esters which form solids or pliable substances under an identified set of physical conditions. Fatty acid esters that are termed waxes generally have longer carbon chains than fatty acid esters that are not waxes. For example, a wax generally forms a pliable substance at room temperature.

[0055] Fatty ester: Includes any ester made from a fatty acid. The carbon chains in fatty acids can contain any combination of the modifications described herein. For example, the carbon chain can contain one or more points of unsaturation, one or more points of branching, including cyclic branching, and can be engineered to be short or long. Any alcohol can be used to form fatty acid esters, for example alcohols derived from the fatty acid biosynthetic pathway, alcohols produced by the production host through non-fatty acid biosynthetic pathways, and alcohols that are supplied in the fermentation broth.

[0056] Fatty acid: Includes products or derivatives thereof made in part from the fatty acid biosynthetic pathway of the host organism. The fatty acid biosynthetic pathway includes fatty acid synthase enzymes which can be engineered as described herein to produce fatty acid derivatives, and in some examples can be expressed with additional enzymes to produce fatty acid derivatives having desired carbon chain characteristics. Exemplary fatty acid derivatives include for example, short and long chain alcohols, hydrocarbons, and fatty acid esters including waxes.

General Methods For Engineering Microorganisms to Produce Carbon-Based Products



[0057] The methods for engineering microorganisms to produce carbon-based products are based on principles of metabolic engineering, and uses, e.g., engineered pathways as described in, e.g., WO 2007/136762 and WO 2007/139925 to make products from energy captured by photoautotrophic organisms. Generally, carbon-based products of interest are produced by expressing a gene or a set of genes as described in Figure 1 in a photoautotrophic microorganism, e.g., cyanobacteria, as described herein. Plasmids are constructed to express various proteins that are useful in production of carbon-based products, as described in the Examples herein, e.g., Example 1. The constructs can be synthetically made or made using standard molecular biology methods and all the cloned genes are put under the control of constitutive promoters or inducible promoters. Plasmids containing the genes of interest are transformed into the host and corresponding transformants are selected in LB plate supplemented with antibiotics such as spectinomycin, carbenicillin, etc. Using standard molecular biology techniques, cells in which a nucleic acid molecule has been introduced are transformed to express or over-express desired genes while other nucleic acid molecules are attenuated or functionally deleted. Transformation techniques by which a nucleic acid molecule can be introduced into such a cell, including, but not limited to, transfection with viral vectors, conjugation, transformation with plasmid vectors, and introduction of naked DNA by electroporation, lipofection, and particle gun acceleration. Transformants are inoculated into a suitable medium. The samples containing the transformants are grown at suitable temperatures in a shaker until they reach at certain OD. The cells are then spun down at and the cell pellets are suspended. Separation techniques allows for the sample to be subjected to GC/MS analysis. Total yield is determined.

Selected or Engineered Microorganisms For the Production of Carbon-Based Products of Interest



[0058] Microorganism: Includes prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbial species from the Domains Archaea, Bacteria and Eucarya, the latter including yeast and filamentous fungi, protozoa, algae, or higher Protista. The terms "microbial cells" and "microbes" are used interchangeably with the term microorganism.

[0059] A variety of host organisms can be transformed to produce a product of interest. Photoautotrophic organisms include algae, as well as prokaryotic cyanobacteria, green-sulfur bacteria, green non-sulfur bacteria, purple sulfur bacteria, and purple non-sulfur bacteria.

[0060] Suitable organisms include extremophiles that withstand various environmental parameters such as temperature, radiation, pressure, gravity, vacuum, desiccation, salinity, pH, oxygen tension, and chemicals. They include hyperthermophiles, which grow at or above 80°C such as Pyrolobus fumarii; thermophiles, which grow between 60-80°C such as Synechococcus lividis; mesophiles, which grow between 15-60°C and psychrophiles, which grow at or below 15°C such as Psychrobacter and some insects. Radiation tolerant organisms include Deinococcus radiodurans. Pressure tolerant organisms include piezophiles or barophiles which tolerate pressure of 130 MPa. Hypergravity (e.g., >1g) hypogravity (e.g., <1g) tolerant organisms are also contemplated. Vacuum tolerant organisms include tardigrades, insects, microbes and seeds. Dessicant tolerant and anhydrobiotic organisms include xerophiles such as Artemia salina; nematodes, microbes, fungi and lichens. Salt tolerant organisms include halophiles (e.g., 2-5 M NaCl) Halobacteriacea and Dunaliella salina. pH tolerant organisms include alkaliphiles such as Natronobacterium, Bacillus firmus OF4, Spirulina spp. (e.g., pH > 9) and acidophiles such as Cyanidium caldarium, Ferroplasma sp. (e.g., low pH). Anaerobes, which cannot tolerate O2 such as Methanococcus jannaschii; microaerophils, which tolerate some O2 such as Clostridium and aerobes, which require O2 are also contemplated. Gas tolerant organisms, which tolerate pure CO2 include Cyanidium caldarium and metal tolerant organisms include metalotolerants such as Ferroplasma acidarmanus (e.g., Cu, As, Cd, Zn), Ralstonia sp. CH34 (e.g., Zn, Co, Cd, Hg, Pb). Gross, Michael. Life on the Edge: Amazing Creatures Thriving in Extreme Environments. New York: Plenum (1998) and Seckbach, J. "Search for Life in the Universe with Terrestrial Microbes Which Thrive Under Extreme Conditions." In Cristiano Batalli Cosmovici, Stuart Bowyer, and Dan Wertheimer, eds., Astronomical and Biochemical Origins and the Search for Life in the Universe, p. 511. Milan: Editrice Compositori (1997).

[0061] Algae and cyanobacteria include but are not limited to the following genera:

[0062] Acanthoceras, Acanthococcus, Acaryochloris, Achnanthes, Achnanthidium, Actinastrum, Actinochloris, Actinocyclus, Actinotaenium, Amphichrysis, Amphidinium, Amphikrikos, Amphipleura, Amphiprora, Amphithrix, Amphora, Anabaena, Anabaenopsis, Aneumastus, Ankistrodesmus, Ankyra, Anomoeoneis, Apatococcus, Aphanizomenon, Aphanocapsa, Aphanochaete, Aphanothece, Apiocystis, Apistonema, Arthrodesmus, Artherospira, Ascochloris, Asterionella, Asterococcus, Audouinella, Aulacoseira, Bacillaria, Balbiania, Bambusina, Bangia, Basichlamys, Batrachospermum, Binuclearia, Bitrichia, Blidingia, Botrdiopsis, Botrydium, Botryococcus, Botryosphaerella, Brachiomonas, Brachysira, Brachytrichia, Brebissonia, Bulbochaete, Bumilleria, Bumilleriopsis, Caloneis, Calothrix, Campylodiscus, Capsosiphon, Carteria, Catena, Cavinula, Centritractus, Centronella, Ceratium, Chaetoceros, Chaetochloris, Chaetomorpha, Chaetonella, Chaetonema, Chaetopeltis, Chaetophora, Chaetosphaeridium, Chamaesiphon, Chara, Characiochloris, Characiopsis, Characium, Charales, Chilomonas, Chlainomonas, Chlamydoblepharis, Chlamydocapsa, Chlamydomonas, Chlamydomonopsis, Chlamydomyxa, Chlamydonephris, Chlorangiella, Chlorangiopsis, Chlorella, Chlorobotrys, Chlorobrachis, Chlorochytrium, Chlorococcum, Chlorogloea, Chlorogloeopsis, Chlorogonium, Chlorolobion, Chloromonas, Chlorophysema, Chlorophyta, Chlorosaccus, Chlorosarcina, Choricystis, Chromophyton, Chromulina, Chroococcidiopsis, Chroococcus, Chroodactylon, Chroomonas, Chroothece, Chrysamoeba, Chrysapsis, Chrysidiastrum, Chrysocapsa, Chrysocapsella, Chrysochaete, Chrysochromulina, Chrysococcus, Chrysocrinus, Chrysolepidomonas, Chrysolykos, Chrysonebula, Chrysophyta, Chrysopyxis, Chrysosaccus, Chrysophaerella, Chrysostephanosphaera, Clodophora, Clastidium, Closteriopsis, Closterium, Coccomyxa, Cocconeis, Coelastrella, Coelastrum, Coelosphaerium, Coenochloris, Coenococcus, Coenocystis, Colacium, Coleochaete, Collodictyon, Compsogonopsis, Compsopogon, Conjugatophyta, Conochaete, Coronastrum, Cosmarium, Cosmioneis, Cosmocladium, Crateriportula, Craticula, Crinalium, Crucigenia, Crucigeniella, Cryptoaulax, Cryptomonas, Cryptophyta, Ctenophora, Cyanodictyon, Cyanonephron, Cyanophora, Cyanophyta, Cyanothece, Cyanothomonas, Cyclonexis, Cyclostephanos, Cyclotella, Cylindrocapsa, Cylindrocystis, Cylindrospermum, Cylindrotheca, Cymatopleura, Cymbella, Cymbellonitzschia, Cystodinium Dactylococcopsis, Debarya, Denticula, Dermatochrysis, Dermocarpa, Dermocarpella, Desmatractum, Desmidium, Desmococcus, Desmonema, Desmosiphon, Diacanthos, Diacronema, Diadesmis, Diatoma, Diatomella, Dicellula, Dichothrix, Dichotomococcus, Dicranochaete, Dictyochloris, Dictyococcus, Dictyosphaerium, Didymocystis, Didymogenes, Didymosphenia, Dilabifilum, Dimorphococcus, Dinobryon, Dinococcus, Diplochloris, Diploneis, Diplostauron, Distrionella, Docidium, Draparnaldia, Dunaliella, Dysmorphococcus, Ecballocystis, Elakatothrix, Ellerbeckia, Encyonema, Enteromorpha, Entocladia, Entomoneis, Entophysalis, Epichrysis, Epipyxis, Epithemia, Eremosphaera, Euastropsis, Euastrum, Eucapsis, Eucocconeis, Eudorina, Euglena, Euglenophyta, Eunotia, Eustigmatophyta, Eutreptia, Fallacia, Fischerella, Fragilaria, Fragilariforma, Franceia, Frustulia, Curcilla, Geminella, Genicularia, Glaucocystis, Glaucophyta, Glenodiniopsis, Glenodinium, Gloeocapsa, Gloeochaete, Gloeochrysis, Gloeococcus, Gloeocystis, Gloeodendron, Gloeomonas, Gloeoplax, Gloeothece, Gloeotila, Gloeotrichia, Gloiodictyon, Golenkinia, Golenkiniopsis, Gomontia, Gomphocymbella, Gomphonema, Gomphosphaeria, Gonatozygon, Gongrosia, Gongrosira, Goniochloris, Gonium, Gonyostomum, Granulochloris, Granulocystopsis, Groenbladia, Gymnodinium, Gymnozyga, Gyrosigma, Haematococcus, Hafniomonas, Hallassia, Hammatoidea, Hannaea, Hantzschia, Hapalosiphon, Haplotaenium, Haptophyta, Haslea, Hemidinium, Hemitoma, Heribaudiella, Heteromastix, Heterothrix, Hibberdia, Hildenbrandia, Hillea, Holopedium, Homoeothrix, Hormanthonema, Hormotila, Hyalobrachion, Hyalocardium, Hyalodiscus, Hyalogonium, Hyalotheca, Hydrianum, Hydrococcus, Hydrocoleum, Hydrocoryne, Hydrodictyon, Hydrosera, Hydrurus, Hyella, Hymenomonas, Isthmochloron, Johannesbaptistia, Juranyiella, Karayevia, Kathablepharis, Katodinium, Kephyrion, Keratococcus, Kirchneriella, Klebsormidium, Kolbesia, Koliella, Komarekia, Korshikoviella, Kraskella, Lagerheimia, Lagynion, Lamprothamnium, Lemanea, Lepocinclis, Leptosira, Lobococcus, Lobocystis, Lobomonas, Luticola, Lyngbya, Malleochloris, Mallomonas, Mantoniella, Marssoniella, Martyana, Mastigocoleus, Gastogloia, Melosira, Merismopedia, Mesostigma, Mesotaenium, Micractinium, Micrasterias, Microchaete, Microcoleus, Microcystis, Microglena, Micromonas, Microspora, Microthamnion, Mischococcus, Monochrysis, Monodus, Monomastix, Monoraphidium, Monostroma, Mougeotia, Mougeotiopsis, Myochloris, Myromecia, Myxosarcina, Naegeliella, Nannochloris, Nautococcus, Navicula, Neglectella, Neidium, Nephroclamys, Nephrocytium, Nephrodiella, Nephroselmis, Netrium, Nitella, Nitellopsis, Nitzschia, Nodularia, Nostoc, Ochromonas, Oedogonium, Oligochaetophora, Onychonema, Oocardium, Oocystis, Opephora, Ophiocytium, Orthoseira, Oscillatoria, Oxyneis, Pachycladella, Palmella, Palmodictyon, Pnadorina, Pannus, Paralia, Pascherina, Paulschulzia, Pediastrum, Pedinella, Pedinomonas, Pedinopera, Pelagodictyon, Penium, Peranema, Peridiniopsis, Peridinium, Peronia, Petroneis, Phacotus, Phacus, Phaeaster, Phaeodermatium, Phaeophyta, Phaeosphaera, Phaeothamnion, Phormidium, Phycopeltis, Phyllariochloris, Phyllocardium, Phyllomitas, Pinnularia, Pitophora, Placoneis, Planctonema, Planktosphaeria, Planothidium, Plectonema, Pleodorina, Pleurastrum, Pleurocapsa, Pleurocladia, Pleurodiscus, Pleurosigma, Pleurosira, Pleurotaenium, Pocillomonas, Podohedra, Polyblepharides, Polychaetophora, Polyedriella, Polyedriopsis, Polygoniochloris, Polyepidomonas, Polytaenia, Polytoma, Polytomella, Porphyridium, Posteriochromonas, Prasinochloris, Prasinocladus, Prasinophyta, Prasiola, Prochlorphyta, Prochlorothrix, Protoderma, Protosiphon, Provasoliella, Prymnesium, Psammodictyon, Psammothidium, Pseudanabaena, Pseudenoclonium, Psuedocarteria, Pseudochate, Pseudocharacium, Pseudococcomyxa, Pseudodictyosphaerium, Pseudokephyrion, Pseudoncobyrsa, Pseudoquadrigula, Pseudosphaerocystis, Pseudostaurastrum, Pseudostaurosira, Pseudotetrastrum, Pteromonas, Punctastruata, Pyramichlamys, Pyramimonas, Pyrrophyta, Quadrichloris, Quadricoccus, Quadrigula, Radiococcus, Radiofilum, Raphidiopsis, Raphidocelis, Raphidonema, Raphidophyta, Peimeria, Rhabdoderma, Rhabdomonas, Rhizoclonium, Rhodomonas, Rhodophyta, Rhoicosphenia, Rhopalodia, Rivularia, Rosenvingiella, Rossithidium, Roya, Scenedesmus, Scherffelia, Schizochlamydella, Schizochlamys, Schizomeris, Schizothrix, Schroederia, Scolioneis, Scotiella, Scotiellopsis, Scourfieldia, Scytonema, Selenastrum, Selenochloris, Sellaphora, Semiorbis, Siderocelis, Diderocystopsis, Dimonsenia, Siphononema, Sirocladium, Sirogonium, Skeletonema, Sorastrum, Spermatozopsis, Sphaerellocystis, Sphaerellopsis, Sphaerodinium, Sphaeroplea, Sphaerozosma, Spiniferomonas, Spirogyra, Spirotaenia, Spirulina, Spondylomorum, Spondylosium, Sporotetras, Spumella, Staurastrum, Stauerodesmus, Stauroneis, Staurosira, Staurosirella, Stenopterobia, Stephanocostis, Stephanodiscus, Stephanoporos, Stephanosphaera, Stichococcus, Stichogloea, Stigeoclonium, Stigonema, Stipitococcus, Stokesiella, Strombomonas, Stylochrysalis, Stylodinium, Styloyxis, Stylosphaeridium, Surirella, Sykidion, Symploca, Synechococcus, Synechocystis, Synedra, Synochromonas, Synura, Tabellaria, Tabularia, Teilingia, Temnogametum, Tetmemorus, Tetrachlorella, Tetracyclus, Tetradesmus, Tetraedriella, Tetraedron, Tetraselmis, Tetraspora, Tetrastrum, Thalassiosira, Thamniochaete, Thorakochloris, Thorea, Tolypella, Tolypothrix, Trachelomonas, Trachydiscus, Trebouxia, Trentepholia, Treubaria, Tribonema, Trichodesmium, Trichodiscus, Trochiscia, Tryblionella, Ulothrix, Uroglena, Uronema, Urosolenia, Urospora, Uva, Vacuolaria, Vaucheria, Volvox, Volvulina, Westella, Woloszynskia, Xanthidium, Xanthophyta, Xenococcus, Zygnema, Zygnemopsis, and Zygonium.

[0063] Green non-sulfur bacteria include but are not limited to the following genera: Chloroflexus, Chloronema, Oscillochloris, Heliothrix, Herpetosiphon, Roseiflexus, and Thermomicrobium.

[0064] Green sulfur bacteria include but are not limited to the following genera: Chlorobium, Clathrochloris, and Prosthecochloris.

[0065] Purple sulfur bacteria include but are not limited to the following genera: Allochromatium, Chromatium, Halochromatium, Isochromatium, Marichromatium, Rhodovulum, Thermochromatium, Thiocapsa, Thiorhodococcus, and Thiocystis.

[0066] Purple non-sulfur bacteria include but are not limited to the following genera: Phaeospirillum, Rhodobaca, Rhodobacter, Rhodomicrobium, Rhodopila, Rhodopseudomonas, Rhodothalassium, Rhodospirillum, Rodovibrio, and Roseospira.

[0067] Aerobic chemolithotrophic bacteria include but are not limited to nitrifying bacteria such as Nitrobacteraceae sp., Nitrobacter sp., Nitrospina sp., Nitrococcus sp., Nitrospira sp., Nitrosomonas sp., Nitrosococcus sp., Nitrosospira sp., Nitrosolobus sp., Nitrosovibrio sp.; colorless sulfur bacteria such as, Thiovulum sp., Thiobacillus sp., Thiomicrospira sp., Thiosphaera sp., Thermothrix sp.; obligately chemolithotrophic hydrogen bacteria such as Hydrogenobacter sp., iron and manganese-oxidizing and/or depositing bacteria such as Siderococcus sp., and magnetotactic bacteria such as Aquaspirillum sp.

[0068] Archaeobacteria include but are not limited to methanogenic archaeobacteria such as Methanobacterium sp., Methanobrevibacter sp., Methanothermus sp., Methanococcus sp., Methanomicrobium sp., Methanospirillum sp., Methanogenium sp., Methanosarcina sp., Methanolobus sp., Methanothrix sp., Methanococcoides sp., Methanoplanus sp.; extremely thermophilic Sulfur-Metabolizers such as Thermoproteus sp., Pyrodictium sp., Sulfolobus sp., Acidianus sp. and other microorganisms such as, Bacillus subtilis, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Streptomyces sp., Ralstonia sp., Rhodococcus sp., Corynebacteria sp., Brevibacteria sp., Mycobacteria sp., and oleaginous yeast.

[0069] HyperPhotosynthetic conversion requires extensive genetic modification; thus, in preferred embodiments the parental photoautotrophic organism can be transformed with exogenous DNA.

[0070] Preferred organisms for HyperPhotosynthetic conversion include: Botryococcus braunii, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Dunaliela salina (algae), Synechococcus sp PCC 7002, Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942, Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, and Thermosynechococcus elongatus BP-1 (cyanobacteria), Chlorobium tepidum (green sulfur bacteria), Chloroflexus auranticus (green non-sulfur bacteria), Chromatium tepidum and Chromatium vinosum (purple sulfur bacteria), Rhodospirillum rubrum, Rhodobacter capsulatus, and Rhodopseudomonas palusris (purple non-sulfur bacteria).

[0071] Yet other suitable organisms include synthetic cells or cells produced by synthetic genomes as described in Venter et al. US Pat. Pub. No. 2007/0264688, and cell-like systems or synthetic cells as described in Glass et al. US Pat. Pub. No. 2007/0269862.

[0072] Still, other suitable organisms include microorganisms that can be engineered to fix carbon dioxide bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Acetobacter aceti, Bacillus subtilis, yeast and fungi such as Clostridium ljungdahlii, Clostridium thermocellum, Penicillium chrysogenum, Pichia pastoris, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Pseudomonas fluorescens, or Zymomonas mobilis.

[0073] A common theme in selecting or engineering a suitable organism is autotrophic fixation of carbon, such as CO2 to products. This would cover photosynthesis and methanogenesis. Acetogenesis, encompassing the three types of CO2 fixation; Calvin cycle, acetyl CoA pathway and reductive TCA pathway is also covered. The capability to use carbon dioxide as the sole source of cell carbon (autotrophy) is found in almost all major groups ofprokaryotes. The CO2 fixation pathways differ between groups, and there is no clear distribution pattern of the four presently-known autotrophic pathways. Fuchs, G. 1989. Alternative pathways of autotrophic CO2 fixation, p. 365-382. In H. G. Schlegel, and B. Bowien (ed.), Autotrophic bacteria. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Germany. The reductive pentose phosphate cycle (Calvin-Bassham-Benson cycle) represents the CO2 fixation pathway in almost all aerobic autotrophic bacteria, for example, the cyanobacteria.

Propagation of Selected Microoganisms



[0074] Methods for cultivation of photosynthetic organisms in liquid media and on agarose-containing plates are well known to those skilled in the art (see, e.g., websites associated with ATCC, and with the Institute Pasteur). For example, Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 cells (available from the Pasteur Culture Collection of Cyanobacteria) are cultured in BG-11 medium (17.65 mM NaNO3, 0.18 mM K2HPO4, 0.3 mM MgSO4, 0.25 mM CaCl2, 0.03 mM citric acid, 0.03 mM ferric ammonium citrate, 0.003 mM EDTA, 0.19 mM Na2CO3, 2.86 mg/L H3BO3, 1.8 mg/L MnCl2, 0.222 mg/L ZnSO4, 0.390 mg/L Na2MoO4, 0.079 mg/L CuSO4, and 0.049 mg/L Co(NO3)2, pH 7.4) supplemented with 16 µg/L biotin, 20 mM MgSO4, 8 mM KCl, and 300 mM NaCl (see, e.g., website associated with the Institute Pasteur, and Price GD, Woodger FJ, Badger MR, Howitt SM, Tucker L. "Identification of a SulP-type bicarbonate transporter in marine cyanobacteria. Proc Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (2004) 101(52):18228-33). Typically, cultures are maintained at 28°C and bubbled continuously with 5% CO2 under a light intensity of 120 µmol photons/m2/s. Alternatively, as described in Example 1, Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 cells are cultured in A+ medium as previously described [Frigaard NU et al. (2004) "Gene inactivation in the cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 and the green sulfur bacterium Chlorobium tepidum using in vitro-made DNA constructs and natural transformation," Methods Mol. Biol., 274:325-340].

[0075] Thermosynechococcus elongatus BP-1 (available from the Kazusa DNAResearch Institute, Japan) is propagated in BG11 medium supplemented with 20 mM TES-KOH (pH 8.2) as previously described [Iwai M, Katoh H, Katayama M, Ikeuchi M. "Improved genetic transformation of the thermophilic cyanobacterium, Thermosynechococcus elongatus BP-1." Plant Cell Physiol (2004). 45(2):171-175)]. Typically, cultures are maintained at 50°C and bubbled continuously with 5% CO2 under a light intensity of 38 µmol photons/m2/s. T. elongatus BP-1 can be grown in A+ medium also as described in Example 2.

[0076] Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (available from the Chlamydomonas Center culture collection maintained by Duke University, Durham, North Carolina,) are grown in minimal salt medium consisting of 143 mg/L K2HPO4, 73 mg/L KH2PO4, 400 mg/L NH4NO3, 100 mg/L MgSO4-7H2O, 50 mg/L CaCl2-2 H20, 1 mL/L trace elements stock, and 10 mL/L 2.0 M MOPS titrated with Tris base to pH 7.6 as described (Geraghty AM, Anderson JC, Spalding MH. "A 36 kilodalton limiting-CO2 induced polypeptide of Chlamydomonas is distinct from the 37 kilodalton periplasmic anhydrase." Plant Physiol (1990). 93:116-121). Typically, cultures are maintained at 24°C and bubbled with 5% CO2 in air, under a light intensity of 60 µmol photons/m2/s.

[0077] The above define typical propagation conditions. As appropriate, incubations are performed using alternate media or gas compositions, alternate temperatures (5 - 75°C), and/or light fluxes (0-5500 µmol photons/m2/s).

[0078] Light is delivered through a variety of mechanisms, including natural illumination (sunlight), standard incandescent, fluorescent, or halogen bulbs, or via propagation in specially-designed illuminated growth chambers (for example Model LI15 Illuminated Growth Chamber (Sheldon Manufacturing, Inc. Cornelius, OR). For experiments requiring specific wavelengths and/or intensities, light is distributed via light emitting diodes (LEDs), in which wavelength spectra and intensity can be carefully controlled (Philips).

[0079] Carbon dioxide is supplied via inclusion of solid media supplements (i.e., sodium bicarbonate) or as a gas via its distribution into the growth incubator or media. Most experiments are performed using concentrated carbon dioxide gas, at concentrations between 1 and 30%, which is directly bubbled into the growth media at velocities sufficient to provide mixing for the organisms. When concentrated carbon dioxide gas is utilized, the gas originates in pure form from commercially-available cylinders, or preferentially from concentrated sources including off-gas or flue gas from coal plants, refineries, cement production facilities, natural gas facilities, breweries, and the like.

Transformation of Selected Microorganisms



[0080] Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 cells are transformed according to the optimized protocol previously described [Essich ES, Stevens Jr E, Porter RD "Chromosomal Transformation in the Cyanobacterium Agmenellum quadruplicatum". J Bacteriol (1990). 172(4):1916-1922]. Cells are grown in Medium A (18 g/L NaCl, 5 g/L MgSO4.7 H20, 30 mg/L Na2EDTA, 600 mg/L KCl, 370 mg/L CaCl2. 2 H2O, 1 g/L NaNO3, 50 mg/L KH2PO4, 1 g/L Trizma base pH 8.2, 4 µg/L Vitamin B12, 3.89 mg/L FeCl3. 6 H20, 34.3 mg/L H3BO3, 4.3 mg/L MnCl2. 4 H20, 315 µg/L ZnCl2, 30 µg/L MoO3, 3 µg/L CuSO4. 5 H20, 12.2 µg/L CoCl2. 6 H20) [Stevens SE, Patterson COP, and Myers J. "The production of hydrogen peroxide by green algae: a survey." J. Phycology (1973). 9:427-430] plus 5g/L of NaNO3 to approximately 108 cells/ mL. Nine volumes of cells are mixed with 1 volume of 1-10 µg/mL DNA in 0.15 M NaCl/0.015 M Na3citrate and incubated at 27-30 °C for 3 hours before addition of 1 volume of DNaseI to a final concentration of 10 µg/mL. The cells are plated in 2.5mL of 0.6% medium A overlay agar that was tempered at 45°C and incubated. Cells are challenged with antibiotic by under-laying 2.0 mL of 0.6% medium A agar containing appropriate concentration of antibiotic with a sterile Pasteur pipette. Transformants are picked 3-4 days later. Selections are typically performed using 200 µg/ml kanamycin, 8 µg/ml chloramphenicol, 10 µg/ml spectinomycin on solid media, whereas 150 µg/ml kanamycin, 7 µg/ml chloramphenicol, and 5 µg/ml spectinomycin are employed in liquid media.

[0081] T. elongatus BP-1 cells are transformed according to the optimized protocol previously described (Iwai M, Katoh H, Katayama M, and Ikeuchi).

[0082] E. coli are transformed using standard techniques known to those skilled in the art, including heat shock of chemically competent cells and electroporation [Berger and Kimmel, Guide to Molecular Cloning Techniques, Methods in Enzymology volume 152 Academic Press, Inc., San Diego, Calif.; Sambrook et al. (1989) Molecular Cloning--A Laboratory Manual (2nd ed.) Vol. 1-3, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor Press, N.Y.; and Current Protocols in Molecular Biology, F. M. Ausubel et al., eds., Current Protocols, a joint venture between Greene Publishing Associates, Inc. and John Wiley & Sons, Inc., (through and including the 1997 Supplement)].

[0083] The biosynthetic pathways as described herein are first tested and optimized using episomal plasmids described above. Non-limiting optimizations include promoter swapping and tuning, ribosome binding site manipulation, alteration of gene order (e.g., gene ABC versus BAC, CBA, CAB, BCA), co-expression of molecular chaperones, random or targeted mutagenesis of gene sequences to increase or decrease activity, folding, or allosteric regulation, expression of gene sequences from alternate species, codon manipulation, addition or removal of intracellular targeting sequences such as signal sequences, and the like.

[0084] Each gene or engineered nucleic acid is optimized individually, or alternately, in parallel. Functional promoter and gene sequences are subsequently integrated into the E. coli chromosome to enable stable propagation in the absence of selective pressure (i.e., inclusion of antibiotics) using standard techniques known to those skilled in the art.

[0085] Figure 1 lists genes involved in the production of carbon-based products of interest, related to associated pathways, Enzyme Commission (EC) Numbers, exemplary gene names, source organism, GenBank accession numbers, and homo logs from alternate sources. When the parental organism encodes a gene with the indicated enzymatic activity, it is useful to overexpress these components or at least attenuate these components as indicated. In some circumstances, the native enzyme sequence may be overexpressed or attenuated. In other circumstances, it is useful to overexpress or attenuate an exogenous gene, which allows for more explicit regulatory control in the bioprocess and a means to potentially mitigate the effects of central metabolism regulation, which is focused around the native genes explicitly.

Ethanol Production



[0086] Figure 2 provides one pathway to produce ethanol, succinate and derivatives thereof.

[0087] To date, current yields of ethanol produced in cyanobacteria are not suited for commercial production at 1.3 mM per OD730 per day, as disclosed in WO 2007/084477, or 1.7µmol of ethanol per mg of chlorophyll per hour, as shown in US Pat. No. 6,699,696.

[0088] The present invention, therefore, provides a host cell capable of CO2 fixation that produces ethanol at a commercial level, e.g., at between about 50 and 150 g/L in about a 48 hour period. In certain embodiments, the rate of ethanol productivity is in the range of about 2.5g/L-hr to about 5 g/L-hr. In one embodiment, a host cell capable of CO2 fixation such as a cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 is engineered to express genes such as pdc and/or adh as disclosed. Such recombinant microorganism encodes PDC activity converting pyruvic acid to acetoaldehyde and/or ADH activity converting acetoaldehyde to ethanol. The transformed microorganism's ability to fix CO2 obviates the need to supplement with either sugars or biomass. Accordingly, the microorganisms of the present invention are attractive alternatives to produce biofuels. The present invention provides the w/v of ethanol to be at least 50, or at least 60 or at least 70 or at least 80 or at least 90 or at least 100 or at least 125 or at least 150 g/L or otherwise produced in commercial scale.

Enzyme Selection & Optimal Enzymes



[0089] Currently, fermentative products such as ethanol, butanol, lactic acid, formate, acetate produced in biological organisms employ a NADH-dependent processes. NAD is used to break down glucose or other sugar sources to form NADH. NADH is recycled during fermentation to NAD+ to allow further sugar breakdown, which results in fermentative byproducts. During photosynthesis, however, the cell forms NADPH, which is used mostly for biosynthetic operations in biological organisms, e.g., cell for growth, division, and for building up chemical stores such as glycogen, sucrose, and other macromolecules. Fermentative products are produced in the light, but in small quantities.

[0090] Using natural or engineered enzymes that utilize NADPH as a source of reducing power instead of NADH would allow direct use of photosynthetic reducing power towards formation of normally fermentative byproducts. Accordingly, the present invention provides a method for producing ethanol comprising culturing a host cell that is genetically modified to comprise an exogenous engineered nucleic acid that encodes a NADPH-dependentalcohol dehydrogenase activity. This is an improvement from previous methods of using organisms such as algae to build stores of chemicals, which are subsequently used to make fermentation products at night or the extraneous use of separate organisms. In effect, fermentative products are formed at higher efficiencies directly in the light during photosynthesis. In addition, the obligatory production of macromolecules at high concentration is alleviated during the day, by producing such products directly during the day.

[0091] NADPH-dependent enzymes that produce normally fermented products are rare in nature. Accordingly, in certain aspects of the invention, ethanol is produced in organisms expressing or modified to express Moorella sp. HUC22-1 or a homolog thereof including at least three alcohol dehydrogenases such as AdhA (NCBI Accession YP_430754). This enzyme has previously shown to preferentially use NADP as a cofactor as opposed to NAD and produce ethanol at high rates from acetaldehyde ["Characterization of enzymes involved in the ethanol production of Moorella sp. HUC22-1"]. By co-expressing this gene in selected organisms, such as cyanobacteria, NADPH2 formed during photosynthesis can be used directly to form ethanol in these organisms. Alternatively, enzymes that naturally use NADH can be engineered using established protein engineering techniques to require NADPH2 rather than NADH.

[0092] In certain embodiments, NADPH-dependent AdhA from Moorella is co-expressed with pyruvate decarboxylase from Zymomonas mobilis in cyanobacteria in order to derive an efficient process for ethanol production dependent upon NADPH as a cofactor rather than the traditional NADH. Such transgenic organisms are able to make ethanol using NADPH-dependent processes.

Isolated Polynucleotides



[0093] Isolated nucleic acid molecules for the adhA gene and variants thereof are described herein. The full-length nucleic acid sequence for this gene, encoding the enzyme NADP-dependant alcohol dehydrogenase, EC 1.1.1.2, has been identified and sequenced. SEQ ID NO:1 represents the codon- and expression-optimized coding sequence for the Moorella sp. HUC22-1 adhA gene.

[0094] The cell of the present invention may comprise a nucleic acid molecule comprising or consisting of a sequence which is a codon and expression optimized version of the wild-type adhA gene. In a further embodiment, the cell of the present invention may comprise a nucleic acid molecule and homo logs, variants and derivatives of SEQ ID NO:1 comprising or consisting of a sequence which is a variant of the adhA gene having at least 77.1% identity to SEQ ID NO: 1. The nucleic acid sequence can be preferably 78%, 79%, 80%, 81% - 85%, 90% - 95%, 96% - 98%, 99%, 99.9% or even higher identity to SEQ ID NO:1.

[0095] In another embodiment, the cell of the invention comprises a nucleic acid molecule encoding a polypeptide having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:2.

[0096] The nucleic acid molecules may hybridize under stringent conditions to the above-described nucleic acid molecules. As defined above, and as is well known in the art, stringent hybridizations are performed at about 25°C below the thermal melting point (Tm) for the specific DNA hybrid under a particular set of conditions, where the Tm is the temperature at which 50% of the target sequence hybridizes to a perfectly matched probe. Stringent washing is performed at temperatures about 5°C lower than the Tm for the specific DNA hybrid under a particular set of conditions.

[0097] Nucleic acid molecules comprising a fragment of any one of the above-described nucleic acid sequences are also described. These fragments preferably contain at least 20 contiguous nucleotides. More preferably the fragments of the nucleic acid sequences contain at least 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 or even more contiguous nucleotides.

[0098] The nucleic acid sequence fragments display utility in a variety of systems and methods. For example, the fragments may be used as probes in various hybridization techniques. Depending on the method, the target nucleic acid sequences may be either DNA or RNA. The target nucleic acid sequences may be fractionated (e.g., by gel electrophoresis) prior to the hybridization, or the hybridization may be performed on samples in situ. One of skill in the art will appreciate that nucleic acid probes of known sequence find utility in determining chromosomal structure (e.g., by Southern blotting) and in measuring gene expression (e.g., by Northern blotting). In such experiments, the sequence fragments are preferably detectably labeled, so that their specific hydridization to target sequences can be detected and optionally quantified. One of skill in the art will appreciate that the nucleic acid fragments may be used in a wide variety of blotting techniques not specifically described herein.

[0099] It should also be appreciated that the nucleic acid sequence fragments disclosed herein also find utility as probes when immobilized on microarrays. Methods for creating microarrays by deposition and fixation of nucleic acids onto support substrates are well known in the art. Reviewed in DNA Microarrays: A Practical Approach (Practical Approach Series), Schena (ed.), Oxford University Press (1999) (ISBN: 0199637768); Nature Genet. 21(1)(suppl):1-60 (1999); Microarray Biochip: Tools and Technology, Schena (ed.), Eaton Publishing Company/BioTechniques Books Division (2000) (ISBN: 1881299376). Analysis of, for example, gene expression using microarrays comprising nucleic acid sequence fragments, such as the nucleic acid sequence fragments disclosed herein, is a well-established utility for sequence fragments in the field of cell and molecular biology. Other uses for sequence fragments immobilized on microarrays are described in Gerhold et al., Trends Biochem. Sci. 24:168-173 (1999) and Zweiger, Trends Biotechnol. 17:429-436 (1999); DNA Microarrays: A Practical Approach (Practical Approach Series), Schena (ed.), Oxford University Press (1999) (ISBN: 0199637768); Nature Genet. 21(1)(suppl):1-60 (1999); Microarray Biochip: Tools and Technology, Schena (ed.), Eaton Publishing Company/BioTechniques Books Division (2000) (ISBN: 1881299376).

[0100] Isolated nucleic acid molecules encoding the NADPH-dependent AdhA polypeptide comprising alcohol dehydrogenase activity are disclosed. As is well known in the art, enzyme activities can be measured in various ways. For example, the pyrophosphorolysis of OMP may be followed spectroscopically. Grubmeyer et al., J. Biol. Chem. 268:20299-20304 (1993). Alternatively, the activity of the enzyme can be followed using chromatographic techniques, such as by high performance liquid chromatography. Chung and Sloan, J. Chromatogr. 371:71-81 (1986). As another alternative the activity can be indirectly measured by determining the levels of product made from the enzyme activity. These levels can be measured with techniques including aqueous chloroform/methanol extraction as known and described in the art (cf. M. Kates (1986) Techniques of Lipidology; Isolation, analysis and identification of Lipids. Elsevier Science Publishers, New York (ISBN: 0444807322)). More modem techniques include using gas chromatography linked to mass spectrometry (Niessen, W. M. A. (2001). Current practice of gas chromatography--mass spectrometry. New York, N.Y: Marcel Dekker. (ISBN: 0824704738)). Additional modern techniques for identification of recombinant protein activity and products including liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LCMS), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), capillary electrophoresis, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization time of flight-mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy, viscometry (Knothe, G., R.O. Dunn, and M.O. Bagby. 1997. Biodiesel: The use of vegetable oils and their derivatives as alternative diesel fuels. Am. Chem. Soc. Symp. Series 666: 172-208), titration for determining free fatty acids (Komers, K., F. Skopal, and R. Stloukal. 1997. Determination of the neutralization number for biodiesel fuel production. Fett/Lipid 99(2): 52-54), enzymatic methods (Bailer, J., and K. de Hueber. 1991. Determination of saponifiable glycerol in "bio-diesel." Fresenius J. Anal. Chem. 340(3): 186), physical property-based methods, wet chemical methods, etc. can be used to analyze the levels and the identity of the product produced by the organisms of the present invention. Other methods and techniques may also be suitable for the measurement of enzyme activity, as would be known by one of skill in the art.

[0101] Also described are vectors, including expression vectors, which comprise the above nucleic acid molecules The vectors may include the above-described nucleic acid molecules operably linked to one or more expression control sequences. The vectors may thus be used to express an NADPH-dependent AdhA polypeptide comprising alcohol dehydrogenase activity.

Isolated Polypeptides



[0102] Isolated polypeptides (including muteins, allelic variants, fragments, derivatives, and analogs) encoded by the nucleic acid molecules described above are also described.The isolated polypeptide may comprise the polypeptide sequence corresponding to SEQ ID NO:2. The isolated polypeptide may comprise a polypeptide sequence at least 71.1% identical to SEQ ID NO: 2. Preferably the isolated polypeptide has 72%, 73% - 75%, 76% -80%, 81%-90%, 95%, 96%, 97%, 98%, 98.1%, 98.2%, 98.3%, 98.4%, 98.5%, 98.6%, 98.7%, 98.8%, 98.9%, 99%, 99.1%, 99.2%, 99.3%, 99.4%, 99.5%, 99.6%, 99.7%, 99.8%, 99.9% or even higher identity to SEQ ID NO: 2.

[0103] Isolated polypeptides comprising a fragment of the above-described polypeptide sequences are described. These fragments preferably include at least 20 contiguous amino acids, more preferably at least 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 or even more contiguous amino acids.

[0104] The polypeptides also include fusions between the above-described polypeptide sequences and heterologous polypeptides. The heterologous sequences can, for example, include sequences designed to facilitate purification, e.g., histidine tags, and/or visualization ofrecombinantly-expressed proteins. Other non-limiting examples of protein fusions include those that permit display of the encoded protein on the surface of a phage or a cell, fusions to intrinsically fluorescent proteins, such as green fluorescent protein (GFP), and fusions to the IgG Fc region.

Results of Optimal Enzymes



[0105] Increased level of ethanol is observed by engineering host cells to have NADPH-dependent alcohol dehydrogenase activity. Methods for producing increased level of ethanol comprise expression of such NADPH-dependent adhA genes as described herein.

[0106] In certain aspects of the invention, increased levels of ethanol of at least about 249 mg/L of ethanol is produced over 72 hours. More preferably, at least about 297 mg/L of ethanol is produced over 72 hours (Figure 6).

[0107] In other aspects of the invention, decreased levels of acetaldehyde are produced. In preferred embodiments, less than about 14 mg/L of acetaldehyde is produced (Figure 7).

[0108] Still, in other aspects of the invention, methods to produce increased amount of ethanol relative to increased OD is produced. In preferred embodiments, at least about 36 mg/L of ethanol per OD is produced. More preferably, at least about 47 mg/L of ethanol per OD is produced (Figure 8).

[0109] Accordingly, expression of such NADPH-dependent enzymes for generating fermentative products such as ethanol is shown herein to increase levels of ethanol, decrease levels of acetaldehyde and in effect allows for increased ethanol production as a function of OD.

Nutrient Independence



[0110] In another aspect, in addition to CO2 and light, photoautotrophic organisms typically require inorganic nutrient sources and vitamins. Required nutrients are generally supplemented to the growth media during bench-scale propagation of such organisms. However, such nutrients are prohibitively expensive in the context of industrial scale bioprocessing.

[0111] Vitamin B 12 is a vitamin cofactor that facilitates radical-based reaction catalyzation. Many organisms, including Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002, require external sources of Vitamin B12 for growth, which is prohibitively expensive in large-scale industrial bioprocessing. In one embodiment, the need for Vitamin B12 is obviated by engineering photoautotrophic cells to express the Vitamin B12 biosynthesis pathway as disclosed in PCT/US2008/083056, filed Nov. 10, 2008. An exemplary biosynthesis pathway found in Salmonella typhimurium is overexpressed, including but not limited to the following genes encoding the amino acid sequences set forth in (Uroporphyrin-III C-methyltransferase (CysG), EC 2.1.1.107, locus NP_462380), (Sirohydrochlorin cobaltochelatase (CbiK), EC 4.99.1.3, locus NP_460970), (Precorrin-2 C20 methyltransferase (CbiL), EC 2.1.1.130, locus NP_460969), (Precorrin3B methylase (CbiH), EC 2.1.1.131, locus NP_460972), (Bifunctional CbiG/precorrin methyltransferase (CbiG), locus NP_460973), (Precorrin-4 C11-methyltransferase (CbiF), EC 2.1.1.133, locus NP_460974), (Cobalamin biosynthesis protein (CbiD), locus NP_460977), (NADPH-dependent precorrin-6A reductase (CbiJ), EC 1.3.1.54, locus NP_460971), (Precorrin-6B C5,15-methyltransferase (CbiE), EC 2.1.1.132, locus NP_460976), (Precorrin-6B C12 decarboxylase (CbiT), EC 2.1.1.132, locus NP_460975), (Precorrin-8X-methylmutase (CbiC), EC 5.4.1.2, locus NP_460978), (Cobyrinic acid A,C-diamide synthase (CbiA), EC 6.3.1.-, locus NP_460980), (Cob(I)yrinic acid a,c-diamide adenosyltransferase (BtuR), EC 2.5.1.17, locus NP_460677), (Cobyrinic acid synthase (CbiP), EC 6.3.5.10, locus NP_460964), (Cobyric acid decarboxylase (CobD), EC 4.1.1.81, locus NP_459636), (Adenosylcobinamide-phosphate synthase (CbiB), EC 6.3.1.10, locus NP_460979), (Alpha ribazole-5'-P phosphatase (CobC), EC 3.1.3.73, locus NP_459635), (Cobalamin(5'-phosphate) synthase (CobS), EC 2.7.8.26, locus NP_460962), (Cobinamide phosphate guanylyl transferase (CobU), EC 2.7.7.62, locus NP_460963), and (Nicotinate-nucleotide dimethylbenzimidazole-P phophoribosyl transferase (CobT), EC 2.4.2.21, locus NP_460961)].

[0112] In addition, to allow for cobalt uptake and incorporation into Vitamin B12, the genes encoding the cobalt transporter are overexpressed. The exemplary cobalt transporter protein found in Salmonella typhimurium is overexpressed and is encoded by amino acid sequences set forth in (ABC-type Co2+ transport system, permease component (CbiM), locus NP_460968), (ABC-type cobalt transport system, periplasmic component (CbiN), locus NP_460967), and (ABC-type cobalt transport system, permease component (CbiQ), locus NP_461989).

[0113] In a preferred embodiment, photoautotrophic organisms are engineered to overexpress Vitamin B12-independent enzymes to obviate the need for this cofactor entirely. In most photoautotrophic organisms, only methionine synthase (EC 2.1.1.13) and class II ribonucleotide reductases require Vitamin B12. An exemplary Vitamin B12 independent methionine synthase (EC 2.1.1.14) from Thermotoga maritime is therefore overexpressed, as set forth in PCT/US2008/083,506 (5-methyltetrahydropteroyltriglutamate-homocysteine methyltransferase (MetE), locus NP_229090). In addition, an exemplary class I ribonucleotide reductase (nrdAB) from Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 is overexpressed encoding the amino acids sequences set forth in (Ribonucleoside-diphosphate reductase, alpha subunit (NrdA), locus NP_441654), (Ribonucleoside-diphosphate reductase, beta subunit (NrdB), locus NP_443040).

[0114] By engineering an organism with the enzymes listed above and in Figure 1, a photoethanolgen is produced as described more specifically in Example 3. Accordingly, the present invention provides a host cell capable of CO2 fixation such as a cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp.PCC 7002 that is engineered to express genes such as pdc and/or adh to produce ethanol, and is engineered to be nutrient independent.

Ethanol Production Under Continuous Illumination



[0115] Normally, glycogen in microorganisms is formed in the light, to be consumed for reducing power when it is dark. With continuous illumination, however, it may be disadvantageous to accumulate significant amounts of glycogen, which would draw carbon away from the desired pathway(s), especially because there could be no dark period long enough to utilize the glycogen. In certain embodiments to prevent glycogen synthesis during illumination, genes encoding enzyme activities related to glycogen synthesis is attenuated or eliminated entirely, to the extent that the organism continue to be easily maintained in a viable state and be robust in fermentation conditions. Accordingly, the cell of the present invention may be at least attenuated in the enzyme activities including, without limitation: glucose-1-phosphate adenylyltransferase (EC 2.7.7.27), glycogen synthase (EC 2.4.1.21 and EC 2.4.1.11), glucose-1-phosphate uridylyltransferase (EC 2.7.7.9), and 1,4-alpha-glucan branching enzyme (EC 2.4.1.18).

[0116] In certain aspects for ethanol production, the carbon that is available from CO2 fixation is directed to pyruvate as effectively as possible. Cyanobacteria can synthesize some pyruvate from carbon fixation during illumination, using glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate derived from the Calvin cycle, because they still must make biosynthetic precursors from it. However, they do so only to the extent that they require it for growth. To increase the flux to pyruvate from Calvin cycle intermediates, it is desirable to express constitutively the genes encoding glycolytic enzymes, from the native host or from a non-native host. The choice of genes is made on the basis of whether allosteric regulatory effects are projected to prevent them from exercising their full activities in the expected metabolic context of the host. Constitutivity could be achieved by eliminating transcriptional regulation where it exists, or by expressing the enzymes from constitutive promoters with which they are not normally associated. Accordingly, the cell of the present invention may comprise further enzyme activities including, but without limitation: glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (EC 1.2.1.12 or EC 1.2.1.13), phosphoglycerate kinase (EC 2.7.2.3), phosphoglycerate mutase (EC 5.4.2.1), enolase (EC 4.2.1.11), and pyruvate kinase (EC 2.7.1.40).

[0117] The cell of the present invention may also comprise additional enzyme activities for the conversion of pyruvate to ethanol. In certain embodiments, such conversion can be carried out by at least four distinct pathways: 1) the pyruvate decarboxylase pathway, 2) the pyruvate dehydrogenase pathway, 3) the pyruvate oxidase pathway, and 4) the pyruvate formate-lyase pathway. The enzyme activities required for the pyruvate decarboxylase pathway are: pyruvate decarboxylase (EC 4.1.1.1) and alcohol dehydrogenase (EC 1.1.1.1 or EC 1.1.1.2). The enzyme activities required for the pyruvate dehydrogenase pathway are: acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (EC 1.2.1.10), and alcohol dehydrogenase (EC 1.1.1.1 or EC 1.1.1.2). The enzyme activities required for the pyruvate oxidase pathway are: pyruvate oxidase (EC 1.2.2.2), acetyl-CoA synthetase (EC 6.2.1.1), acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (EC 1.2.1.10), and alcohol dehydrogenase (EC 1.1.1.1 or EC 1.1.1.2). The enzyme activities required for the pyruvate formate-lyase pathway are: pyruvate formate-lyase (EC 2.3.1.54), formate hydrogen-lyase (no EC number), acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (EC 1.2.1.10), and alcohol dehydrogenase (EC 1.1.1.1 or EC 1.1.1.2). Preferably, one or more of these pathways is expressed constitutively or under some other controlled regulation.

[0118] In addition to providing exogenous genes or endogenous genes with novel regulation, the optimization of ethanol production in microorganisms preferably requires the elimination or attenuation of certain host enzyme activities. These include, but are not limited to, pyruvate oxidase (EC 1.2.2.2), D-lactate dehydrogenase (EC 1.1.1.28), acetate kinase (EC 2.7.2.1), phosphate acetyltransferase (EC 2.3.1.8), citrate synthase (EC 2.3.3.1), phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (EC 4.1.1.31). The extent to which these manipulations are necessary is determined by the observed byproducts found in the bioreactor or shake-flask. For instance, observation of acetate would suggest deletion of pyruvate oxidase, acetate kinase, and/or phosphotransacetylase enzyme activities. In another example, observation of D-lactate would suggest deletion of D-lactate dehydrogenase enzyme activities, whereas observation of succinate, malate, fumarate, oxaloacetate, or citrate would suggest deletion of citrate synthase and/or PEP carboxylase enzyme activities.

Ethanol Production In Light-Dark Cycle



[0119] In alternative embodiments, the present invention is adapted. so that the microorganisms are used in systems that are suitable to run with a light-dark cycle, in which several hours of constant illumination are followed by several hours of relative darkness. Using such a cycle, the complete elimination of glycogen synthesis capability may not be a viable strategy, because the cells will require some glycogen to survive the dark period. In this case, one of two alternative strategies can be implemented: 1) attenuation, but not elimination, of glycogen-synthesis enzymes, so that some glycogen is still made during the light phase; or 2) maximization of glycogen production during the light phase.

[0120] In one embodiment, the microorganisms are attenuated but not eliminated in glycogen-synthesis enzyme activities. Such methods are implemented by deleting the native glycogen-synthesis gene(s) activities and replacing them with analogs having non-native regulation and expression at a level lower than in the native host.

[0121] In another embodiment, the microorganisms maximize glycogen production during the light phase. Such methods are implemented by screening for strains with the highest glycogen content among a collection of wild-type strains or a library of mutants of a particular strain, after such strains have been grown to a suitable cell concentration and subjected subsequently to limitation of a key nutrient such as nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium. It would be most advantageous to utilize a light-dark cycle such that glycogen is synthesized to the maximum amount possible in terms of dry cell weight during the light cycle, then metabolized to ethanol to near completion as possible during the dark cycle.

[0122] During the dark cycle, glycogen is converted to pyruvate by endogenous enzymes, but, as in the case of continuous illumination, these enzymes may be regulated in the host such that the overall conversion proceeds at a suboptimal rate. To increase the rate of this conversion, such regulation is defeated, either by mutagenizing and screening strains for rapid glycogen utilization in the dark or by supplying the host with the necessary enzymes at higher expression levels and/or providing exogenous genes encoding enzymes that are less subject to allosteric regulation than those of the host. Accordingly, the preferred enzyme activities to achieve this effect include those listed above for the conversion of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate into ethanol, in addition to enzyme activities that convert glycogen to glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate: glycogen phosphorylase (EC 2.4.1.1), phosphoglucomutase (EC 5.4.2.2), glucose-6-phosphate isomerase (EC 5.3.1.9), phosphofructokinase (EC 2.7.1.11), fructose-6-phosphate aldolase (EC 4.1.2.13), and triosephosphate isomerase (EC 5.3.1.1).

[0123] In yet another embodiment, at least one cytochrome oxidase activity is attenuated or functionally deleted. Cytochromeoxidases function to transfer electrons to oxygen in the dark. Howitt et al., made deletions of cytochrome oxidases (CtaI, CtaII and Cyd) and were able to get strains that did not respire in the dark but grew normally in the light.(Quinol and Cytochrome Oxidases in the Cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, [Howitt et al., Biochemistry (1998) 37(51):17944-51]. Strains that lacked one oxidase respired at near-wild-type rates, whereas those that lacked both CtaI and Cyd did not respire. The inability to respire in the dark means more fermentative products, including ethanol and perhaps also succinate as well as 1,4-butanediol. Accordingly, the present invention provides a carbon fixing organism, e.g., a cyanobacterium engineered wherein at least one cytochrome oxidase activity is attenuated, which increases production of ethanol, succinate and/or 1,4-butanediol.

Increased Fatty Acid Production



[0124] Introduction of heterologous nucleic acid sequences involved in a biosynthetic pathway for the production of hydrocarbons can be done stably or transiently into various host cells using techniques well known in the art, for example, electroporation, calcium phosphate precipitation, DEAE-dextran-mediated transfection, liposome-mediated transfection, conjugation and transduction. For stable transformation, a DNA sequence can further include a selectable marker, such as, antibiotic resistance, for example resistance to neomycin, tetracycline, chloramphenicol, kanamycin and genes that complement auxotrophic deficiencies.

[0125] Suitable expression control sequences for use in prokaryotic host cells include, but are not limited to, promoters capable of recognizing the T4, T3, Sp6 and T7 polymerases, the PR and PL promoters of bacteriophage lambda, the trp, recA, heat shock, and lacZ promoters of E. coli, the alpha-amylase and the sigma-specific promoters of B. subtilis, the promoters of the bacteriophages of Bacillus, Streptomyces promoters, the int promoter of bacteriophage lambda, the bla promoter of the beta-lactamase gene of pBR322, and the CAT promoter of the chloramphenicol acetyl transferase gene. Prokaryotic promoters are reviewed by Glick, J. Ind. Microbiol. 1:277, 1987; Watson et al, MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE GENES 4th Ed., Benjamin Cummins (1987); and Sambrook et al., supra.

[0126] Non-limiting examples of suitable eukaryotic promoters for use within an eukaryotic host are viral in origin and include the promoter of the mouse metallothionein I gene (Hamer et al., J. MoI. Appl. Gen. 1 :273, 1982); the TK promoter of Herpes virus (McKnight, Cell 31 :355, 1982); the SV40 early promoter (Benoist et al, Nature (London) 290:304, 1981); the Rous sarcoma virus promoter; the cytomegalovirus promoter (Foecking et al, Gene 45:101, 1980); the yeast gal4 gene promoter (Johnston, et al, PNAS (USA) 79:6971 , 1982; Silver, et al., PNAS (USA) 81 :5951, 1984); and the IgG promoter (Orlandi et al, PNAS (USA) 86:3833, 1989).

[0127] In some examples a genetically modified host cell is genetically modified with a heterologous DNA sequence encoding a biosynthetic pathway gene product that is operably linked to a constitutive promoter. Suitable constitutive promoters are known in the art and include, constitutive adenovirus major late promoter, a constitutive MPSV promoter, and a constitutive CMV promoter. Suitable constitutive promoters applicable for Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 include for example, PtacI, P-EM7, Paph2 and PaadA

[0128] The microbial host cell can be genetically modified with a heterologous nucleic acid sequence encoding a biosynthetic pathway gene product that is operably linked to an inducible promoter. Inducible promoters are well known in the art. Suitable inducible promoters include, but are not limited to promoters that are affected by proteins, metabolites, or chemicals. These include: a bovine leukemia virus promoter, a metallothionein promoter, a dexamethasone-inducible MMTV promoter, a SV40 promoter, a MRP polIII promoter, a tetracycline-inducible CMV promoter (such as the human immediate-early CMV promoter) as well as those from the trp and lac operons.

[0129] When a host cell is genetically modified with heterologous nucleic acid sequences encoding two or more proteins involved in a biosynthesis pathway to produce carbon-based products of interest, the nucleic acid sequences can be driven by a single promoter on a single vector or at least one promoter on separate expression vectors.

[0130] The intracellular concentration (e.g., the concentration of the intermediate in the genetically modified host cell) of the biosynthetic pathway intermediate can be increased to further boost the yield of the final product. For example, by increasing the intracellular amount of a substrate (e.g., a primary substrate) for an enzyme that is active in the biosynthetic pathway, and the like.

Carbon Chain Modifications



[0131] Figure 1 provides a description of the various genes that can be modulated to alter the structure of the fatty acid derivative product and the encoded enzymes that can be used alone or in combination to make various fatty acids and hydrocarbons. The products can be produced such that they contain branch points, levels of saturation, and carbon chain length, thus, making these products desirable starting materials for use in many applications. Describedare various carbon-based products of interest produced by the microorganisms.

[0132] Figure 1 also lists enzymes that are directly involved in the synthesis of carbon-based products, including waxes, fatty acid esters and/or fatty alcohols. To increase the production of waxes/fatty acid esters, and fatty alcohols, one or more of the enzymes can be over expressed or mutated to reduce feedback inhibition. Additionally, enzymes that metabolize the intermediates to make nonfatty-acid based products (side reactions) can be functionally deleted or attenuated to increase the flux of carbon through the fatty acid biosynthetic pathway. The Examples provided herein describe how to engineer enzymes in the respective pathways of host organisms to yield engineered organisms that produce ethanol.

Consolidated Photo-Fermentation



[0133] In an alternative approach to directly producing final carbon-based product of interest as a result of photosynthesis, carbon-based products of interest may be produced by leveraging other organisms that are more amenable to making any one particular product while culturing the photosynthetic organism for its carbon source. Consequently, fermentation and production of carbon-based products of interest can occur separately from carbon source production in a photobioreactor.

[0134] The methods of producing such carbon-based products of interest may include two steps. The first-step includes using photosynthetic organisms to convert carbon dioxide to photosynthetic products such as glucose. The second-step is to use the photosynthetic products as a carbon source for cells that produce carbon-based products of interest. The two-stage approach may comprise a photobioreactor comprising photosynthetic cells; a second reactor comprising cells capable of fermentation; wherein the photosynthetic cells provides a carbon source such as glucose for cells capable of fermentation to produce a carbon-based product of interest. The second reactor may comprise more than one type of microorganism. The resulting carbons-based products of interest are subsequently separated and/or collected.

[0135] The two-steps may be combined into a single-step process whereby the engineered photosynthetic organisms convert light and CO2 directly into glucose and such organisms are capable of producing a variety of carbon-based products of interest.

[0136] Certain changes in culture conditions of photosynthetic host cells, e.g., cyanobacteria for the production of sugars can be optimized for growth. For example, conditions are optimized for light intensity, light exposure, time of exposure, diurnal cycle, addition of supplements, nutrients, the rate of recirculation and flow rates that maintain a light to dark ratio. As will be apparent to those skilled in the art, the conditions sufficient to achieve optimum growth will vary depending upon location, climate, and other environmental factors, such as the diurnal cycle, light intensity and time of exposure to light. Other adjustments may be required, for example, an organism's ability for carbon uptake. Increased carbon in the form of CO2 may be introduced into a bioreactor by a gas sparger or aeration devices

[0137] Advantages of consolidated photo-fermentation include a process where there is separation of chemical end products, e.g., glucose, spatial separation between end products (membranes) and time. Additionally, unlike traditional or cellulosic biomass to biofuels production, pretreatment, saccharification and crop plowing are obviated.

[0138] The consolidated photo-fermentation process produces continuous products. The process may involve direct capture of light to product from engineered front-end organisms to produce various products without the need to lyse the organisms. For instance, the organisms can utilize 3PGAL in the light to make a desired fermentation product, e.g., ethanol. Alternatively, the organisms can accumulate glycogen in the light and metabolize ethanol in the dark to make more fermentation products. Such end products can be readily secreted as opposed to intracellular products such as oil and cellulose. Organisms may produce sugars in the light, which are secreted into the media and such sugars are used in the dark during fermentation with the same or different organisms or a combination of both.

Fermentation Conditions



[0139] The production and isolation of carbon-based products of interest can be enhanced by employing specific fermentation techniques. One method for maximizing production while reducing costs is increasing the percentage of the carbon that is converted to hydrocarbon products. During normal cellular lifecycles carbon is used in cellular functions including producing lipids, saccharides, proteins, organic acids, and nucleic acids. Reducing the amount of carbon necessary for growth-related activities can increase the efficiency of carbon source conversion to output. This can be achieved by first growing microorganisms to a desired density, such as a density achieved at the peak of the log phase of growth. At such a point, replication checkpoint genes can be harnessed to stop the growth of cells. Specifically, quorum sensing mechanisms [reviewed in Camilli and Bassler, Science 311:1113, (2006); Venturi FEMS Microbio Rev 30:274-291 (2006); and Reading and Sperandio, FEMS Microbiol Lett, 254:1-11, (2006)] can be used to activate genes such as p53, p21, or other checkpoint genes. Genes that can be activated to stop cell replication and growth in E. coli include umuDC genes, the over-expression of which stops the progression from stationary phase to exponential growth [Murli et al, J. of Bact., 182:1127, (2000)]. UmuC is a DNA polymerase that can carry out translesion synthesis over non-coding lesions the mechanistic basis of most UV and chemical mutagenesis. The umuDC gene products are used for the process of translesion synthesis and also serve as a DNA damage checkpoint. UmuDC gene products include UmuC, UmuD, umuD', UmuD'2C, UmuD'2 and UmUD2. Simultaneously, the product-producing genes are activated, thus minimizing the need for replication and maintenance pathways to be used while the fatty acid derivative is being made.

[0140] In one aspect, the percentage of input carbons converted to hydrocarbon products is an efficient and inexpensive process. Using carbon dioxide as the carbon source, the oxygen is released in the form of O2, leading to a maximal theoretical metabolic efficiency of ∼34% (w/w) (for fatty acid derived products).

[0141] This figure, however, changes for other hydrocarbon products and carbon sources. Typical efficiencies in the literature are ∼<5%. Engineered microorganisms which produce hydrocarbon products can have greater than 1, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30% efficiency. In one example microorganisms will exhibit an efficiency of about 10% to about 25%. In other examples, such microorganisms will exhibit an efficiency of about 25% to about 30%, and in other examples such microorganisms will exhibit >30% efficiency.

[0142] In some examples where the final product is released from the cell, a continuous process can be employed. In this approach, a reactor with organisms producing fatty acid derivatives can be assembled in multiple ways. In one example, a portion of the media is removed and allowed to separate. Fatty acid derivatives are separated from the aqueous layer, which will in turn, be returned to the fermentation chamber.

[0143] In another example, the fermentation chamber will enclose a fermentation that is undergoing a continuous reduction. In this instance, a stable reductive environment would be created. The electron balance would be maintained by the release of oxygen. Efforts to augment the NAD/H and NADP/H balance can also facilitate in stabilizing the electron balance.

[0144] The availability of intracellular NADPH can be also enhanced by engineering the production host to express an NADH:NADPH transhydrogenase. The expression of one or more NADH :NADPH transhydrogenase converts the NADH produced in glycolysis to NADPH which enhances the production of fatty acid derivatives.

[0145] For large-scale product production, the engineered microorganisms are grown in 10 L, 100 L or larger batches, fermented and induced to express desired products based on the specific genes encoded in plasmids as appropriate. Cells harboring engineered nucleic acids to over-express or attenuate gene products are incubated from a 500 mL seed culture for 10 L fermentations (5 L for 100 L fermentations) in LB media (glycerol free) at 37°C shaken at >200rpm until cultures reached a desired OD (typically 16 hours) incubated with kanamycin, ampicillin or the like. Media is treated with continuously supplemented to maintain a 25 mM sodium proprionate at a suitable pH of about 8.0 to activate the engineered in gene systems for production as well as to stop cellular proliferation. Media is continuously supplemented with carbon dioxide. Aliquots of no more than 10% of the total cell volume are removed each hour and allowed to sit unaggitated so as to allow the hydrocarbon product to rise to the surface and undergo a spontaneous phase separation. The hydrocarbon component is then collected and the aqueous phase returned to the reaction chamber. The reaction chamber is operated continuously. For wax ester production, subsequent to isolation, the wax esters are washed briefly in 1 M HCl to split the ester bond, and returned to pH 7 with extensive washing with distilled water.

Processing & Separation



[0146] The carbon-based products produced by the carbon dioxide fixing organisms during fermentation can be separated from the fermentation media. Known techniques for separating fatty acid derivatives from aqueous media can be employed. One exemplary separation process provided herein is a two-phase (bi-phasic) separation process. This process involves fermenting the genetically-engineered production hosts under conditions sufficient to produce for example, a fatty acid, allowing the fatty acid to collect in an organic phase and separating the organic phase from the aqueous fermentation media. This method can be practiced in both a batch and continuous fermentation setting.

[0147] Bi-phasic separation uses the relative immisciblity of fatty acid to facilitate separation. A skilled artisan will appreciate that by choosing a fermentation media and the organic phase such that the fatty acid derivative being produced has a high logP value, even at very low concentrations the fatty acid will separate into the organic phase in the fermentation vessel.

[0148] When producing fatty acids by the methods described herein, such products will be relatively immiscible in the fermentation media, as well as in the cytoplasm. Therefore, the fatty acid will collect in an organic phase either intracellularly or extracellularly. The collection of the products in an organic phase will lessen the impact of the fatty acid derivative on cellular function and allows the production host to produce more product.

[0149] The fatty alcohols, fatty acid esters, waxes, and hydrocarbons produced as described herein allow for the production of homogeneous compounds with respect to other compounds wherein at least 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90%, or 95% of the fatty alcohols, fatty acid esters, waxes and hydrocarbons produced have carbon chain lengths that vary by less than 4 carbons, or less than 2 carbons. These compounds can also be produced so that they have a relatively uniform degree of saturation with respect to other compounds, for example at least 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90%, or 95% of the fatty alcohols, fatty acid esters, hydrocarbons and waxes are mono-, di-, or tri- unsaturated.

Detection and Analysis



[0150] Generally, the products of interest produced from the "solar biofactories" described herein can be analyzed by any of the standard analytical methods, e.g., gas chromatography (GC), mass spectrometry (MS) gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GCMS), and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LCMS), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), capillary electrophoresis, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy, viscometry [Knothe et al., Am. Chem. Soc. Sump. Series, 666:172-208 (1997)], titration for determining free fatty acids [Komers et al., Fett/Lipid 99(2):52-54 (1997)], enzymatic methods [Bailer et al.,. J Anal. Chem. 340(3):186 (1991)], physical property-based methods, wet chemical methods, etc.

Carbon Fingerprinting



[0151] Biologically-produced carbon-based products, e.g., ethanol, fatty acids, alkanes, isoprenoids, represent a new commodity for fuels, such as alcohols, diesel and gasoline. Such biofuels have not been produced using biomass but use CO2 as its carbon source. These new fuels may be distinguishable from fuels derived form petrochemical carbon on the basis of dual carbon-isotopic fingerprinting. Such products, derivatives, and mixtures thereof may be completely distinguished from their petrochemical derived counterparts on the basis of 14C (fM) and dual carbon-isotopic fingerprinting, indicating new compositions of matter.

[0152] There are three naturally occurring isotopes of carbon: 12C, 13C, and 14C. These isotopes occur in above-ground total carbon at fractions of 0.989, 0.011, and 10-12, respectively. The isotopes 12C and 13C are stable, while 14C decays naturally to 14N, a beta particle, and an anti-neutrino in a process with a half-life of 5730 years. The isotope 14C originates in the atmosphere, due primarily to neutron bombardment of 14N caused ultimately by cosmic radiation. Because of its relatively short half-life (in geologic terms), 14C occurs at extremely low levels in fossil carbon. Over the course of 1 million years without exposure to the atmosphere, just 1 part in 1050 will remain 14C.

[0153] The 13C:12C ratio varies slightly but measurably among natural carbon sources. Generally these differences are expressed as deviations from the 13C:12C ratio in a standard material. The international standard for carbon is Pee Dee Belemnite, a form of limestone found in South Carolina, with a 13C fraction of 0.0112372. For a carbon source a, the deviation of the 13C:12C ratio from that of Pee Dee Belemnite is expressed as:

[0154] δa = (Ra/Rs) - 1, where Ra = 13C:12C ratio in the natural source, and Rs =13C:12C ratio in Pee Dee Belemnite, the standard.

[0155] For convenience, δa is expressed in parts per thousand, or ‰. A negative value of δa shows a bias toward 12C over 13C as compared to Pee Dee Belemnite. Table 1 shows δa and 14C fraction for several natural sources of carbon.
Table 1:
13C:12C variations in natural carbon sources
Source-δa (‰)References
Underground coal 32.5 Farquhar et al.
Fossil fuels 26 Farquhar et al.
Ocean DIC* 0-1.5 Goericke et al.,
    Ivlev
Atmospheric CO2 6-8 Ivlev, Farquhar et al.
Freshwater DIC* 6-14 Dettman et al.
Pee Dee Belemnite 0 Ivlev
* DIC = dissolved inorganic carbon


[0156] Biological processes often discriminate among carbon isotopes. The natural abundance of 14C is very small, and hence discrimination for or against 14C is difficult to measure. Biological discrimination between 13C and 12C, however, is well-documented. For a biological product p, we can define similar quantities to those above:

[0157] δp = (Rp/Rs) - 1, where Rp = 13C:12C ratio in the biological product, and Rs = 13C:12C ratio in Pee Dee Belemnite, the standard.

[0158] Table 2 shows measured deviations in the 13C:12C ratio for some biological products.
Table 2: 13C:12C variations in selected biological products
Product-δp(‰)-D(‰)*References
Plant sugar/starch from atmospheric CO2 18-28 10-20 Ivlev
Cyanobacterial biomass from marine DIC 18-31 16.5-31 Goericke et al., Sakata et al.
Cyanobacterial lipid from marine DIC 39-40 37.5-40 Sakata et al.
Algal lipid from marine DIC 17-28 15.5-28 Goericke et al., Abelseon et al.
Algal biomass from freshwater DIC 17-36 3-30 Marty et al.
E. coli lipid from plant sugar 15-27 near 0 Monson et al.
Cyanobacterial lipid from fossil carbon 63.5-66 37.5-40 -
Cyanobacterial biomass from fossil carbon 42.5-57 16.5-31 -
* D = discrimination by a biological process in its utilization of 12C vs. 13C (see text)


[0159] Table 2 introduces a new quantity, D. This is the discrimination by a biological process in its utilization of 12C vs. 13C. We define D as follows: D = (Rp/Ra) - 1.

[0160] This quantity is very similar to δa and δp, except we now compare the biological product directly to the carbon source rather than to a standard. Using D, we can combine the bias effects of a carbon source and a biological process to obtain the bias of the biological product as compared to the standard. Solving for δp, we obtain: δp = (D)(δa) + D + δa, and, because (D)(δa) is generally very small compared to the other terms, δp ≈ δa + D.

[0161] For a biological product having a production process with a known D, we may therefore estimate δp by summing δa and D. We assume that D operates irrespective of the carbon source.

[0162] This has been done in Table 2 for cyanobacterial lipid and biomass produced from fossil carbon. As shown in the Tables above, cyanobacterial products made from fossil carbon (in the form of, for example, flue gas or other emissions) will have a higher δp than those of comparable biological products made from other sources, distinguishing them on the basis of composition of matter from these other biological products. In addition, any product derived solely from fossil carbon will have a negligible fraction of 14C, while products made from above-ground carbon will have a 14C fraction of approximately 10-12.

[0163] Accordingly, various carbon-based products of interest may be characterized as p(‰) of about 63.5 to about 66 and -D(‰) of about 37.5 to about 40.

References



[0164] 
  1. 1. Goericke, R., Montoya, J.P., and Fry, B. Physiology of isotopic fractionation in algae and cyanobacteria. Chapter 9 in "Stable Isotopes in Ecology and Environmental Science", By K. Lajtha and R. H. Michener, Blackwell Publishing, 1994.
  2. 2. Monson, K.D. and Hayes, J.M. Biosynthetic control of the natural abundance of carbon 13 at specific positions within fatty acids in Escherichia coli. J. Biol. Chem. 255:11435-41 (1980).
  3. 3. Abelseon, P.H. and Hoering, T.C. Carbon isotope fractionation in formation of amino acids by photosynthetic organisms. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 47:623-32 (1961).
  4. 4. Sakata, S., Hayes, J.M., McTaggart, A.R., Evans, R.A., Leckrone, K.J., and Togasaki, R.K. Carbon isotopic fractionation associated with lipid biosynthesis by a cyanobacterium: relevance for interpretation of biomarker records. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 61:5379-89 (1997).
  5. 5. Ivlev, A.A. Carbon isotope effects (13C/12C) in biological systems. Separation Sci. Technol. 36:1819-1914 (20010).
  6. 6. Farquhar, G. D., Ehleringer, J. R., and Hubick, K. T. Carbon isotope discrimination and photosynthesis. Annu. Rev. Plant Physiol. Plant Mol. Biol. 40:503-37 (1989).
  7. 7. Marty, J. and Planas, D. Comparison of methods to determine algal δ13C in freshwater. Limnol. Oceanogr.: Methods 6:51-63 (2008).
  8. 8. Dettman, D.L., Reische, A.K., and K.C. Lohmann. Controls on the stable isotope composition of seasonal growth bands in aragonitic fresh-water bivalves (unionidae). Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 63:1049-1057 (1999).


[0165] All publications and patent documents cited herein are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety for all purposes to the same extent as if each were so individually denoted.

EXAMPLES



[0166] The examples below are provided herein for illustrative purposes and are not intended to be restrictive.

EXAMPLE 1


Plasmid Construction for Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002



[0167] Construction of pJB5: The pJB5 base plasmid was designed as an empty expression vector for recombination into Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002. Two regions of homology, the Upstream Homology Region (UHR) and the Downstream Homology Region were designed to flank the construct. These 500bp regions of homo logy correspond to positions 3301-3800 and 3801-4300 (Genbank Accession NC_005025) for UHR and DHR respectively. The aadA promoter, gene sequence, and terminator were designed to confer spectinomycin and streptomycin resistance to the integrated construct. For expression, pJB5 was designed with the aph2 kanamycin resistance cassette promoter and ribosome binding site (RBS). Downstream of this promoter and RBS, we designed and inserted the restriction endonuclease recognition site for NdeI and EcoRI, as well as the sites for XhoI, BamHI, SpeI and PacI. Following the EcoRI site, the natural terminator from the alcohol dehydrogenase gene from Zymomonas mobilis (adhII) terminator was included. Convenient xbaI restriction sites flank the UHR and the DHR allowing cleavage of the DNA intended for recombination from the rest of the vector. pJB5 was constructed by contract synthesis from DNA2.0 (Menlo Park, CA).

[0168] Construction of pJB5-PdcAdhII The pyruvate decarboxylase (pdc) and alcohol dehydrogenase (adhII) genes were cloned into the pJB5 plasmid with the following procedure. The pdc-adhII genes from Zymomonas mobilis (Genbank: DD161475, M15394) were designed with an NdeI site replacing the start of the pdc coding region. Following the pdc gene, we designed two restriction endonuclease sites (XhoI and BamHI). Next, the adhII sequence was designed in whole subsequent to the restriction sites, and finally, the natural adhII terminator was included as well, downstream of an inserted EcoRI site. This construct was constructed by contract synthesis from DNA2.0 (Menlo Park, CA) and was inserted by restriction digest with NdeI and EcoRI (New England Biolabs; Ipswitch, MA) on both pJB5 and the insert followed by ligation with a Quick Ligation Kit (New England Biolabs; Ipswitch, MA). The ligated construct was transformed into The NEB 5-alpha F'Iq Competent E. coli (High Efficiency) (New England Biolabs: Ipswitch, MA).

[0169] pJB5-PdcAdhII(TS): The pyruvate decarboxylase (pdc) from Zymobacter palmae (GenBank: AF474145) and alcohol dehydrogenase TS42 (adhII) genes as described in Rellos et al. (1998) "Thermostable variants of Zymomonas mobilis alcohol dehydrogenase obtained using PCR-mediated random mutagenesis" Protein Expr Purif 12:61-61) were cloned into the pJB5 plasmid with the following procedure. These genes were designed with an NdeI site replacing the start of the pdc coding region. Following the pdc gene and prior to the adhII gene, a gap is present which includes XhoI and BamHI sites to allow promoters to be inserted later (total length of gap: 39 bp) and the original RBS for adhII from Z. mobilis. The adhII (Z. mobilis) gene has the original terminator present afterwards, in which an EcoRI site has been placed between the adhII gene and the terminator. Following the terminator, SpeI and PacI sites are present for cloning. This construct was constructed by contract synthesis from DNA2.0 (Menlo Park, CA) and was inserted by restriction digest with NdeI and EcoRI (New England Biolabs; Ipswitch, MA) on both pJB5 and the insert followed by ligation with a Quick Ligation Kit (New England Biolabs; Ipswitch, MA). The ligated construct was transformed into The NEB 5-alpha F'Iq Competent E. coli (High Efficiency) (New England Biolabs; Ipswitch, MA).

[0170] pJB5-Pdc: The pyruvate decarboxylase (pdc) gene was cloned into the pJB5 plasmid with the following procedure. The pJB5-PdcAdhII construct from Example 2, was digested with BamHI and EcoRI (New England Biolabs; Ipswitch, MA). The incompatible 5' and 3' DNA overhangs were removed using the Quick Blunting Kit (New England Biolabs, MA), and then ligated using the Quick Ligation Kit (New England Biolabs; Ipswitch, MA).

[0171] pJB5-AdhII: The alcohol dehydrogenase (adhII) gene was cloned into the pJB5 plasmid with the following procedure. The pJB5-PdcAdhII construct from Example 2, was digested with NdeI and BamHI (New England Biolabs; Ipswitch, MA). The incompatible 5' and 3' DNA overhangs were removed using the Quick Blunting Kit (New England Biolabs, MA), and then ligated using the Quick Ligation Kit (New England Biolabs; Ipswitch, MA).

[0172] pJB5-metE (E.coli): The Vitamin B12 independent methionine synthase (metE) gene from E. coli (Genbank: NP_418273.1), was cloned into the pJB5 plasmid by the following procedure. A construct was synthesized by contract synthesis by DNA2.0 (Menlo Park, CA) to include an NdeI site to replacing the start of the metE gene, and an EcoRI site at the end of the gene. This construct was inserted by restriction digest with NdeI and EcoRI (New England Biolabs; Ipswitch, MA) on both pJB5 and the insert followed by ligation with a Quick Ligation Kit (New England Biolabs; Ipswitch, MA). The ligated construct was transformed into The NEB 5-alpha F'Iq Competent E. coli (High Efficiency) (New England Biolabs: Ipswitch, MA).

[0173] pJB5-metE (T. elongates BP-1): The Vitamin B 12-independent methionine synthase (metE) gene from Thermosynechococcus elongates BP-1 (Genbank: NP_681881), was cloned into the pJB5 plasmid by the following procedure. A construct was synthesized by contract synthesis by DNA2.0 (Menlo Park, CA) to include an NdeI site to replacethe start of the metE gene, and an EcoRI site at the end of the gene. This construct was inserted by restriction digest with NdeI and EcoRI (New England Biolabs; Ipswitch, MA) on both pJB5 and the insert followed by ligation with a Quick Ligation Kit (New England Biolabs; Ipswitch, MA). The ligated construct was transformed into The NEB 5-alpha F'Iq Competent E. coli (High Efficiency) (New England Biolabs: Ipswitch, MA).

EXAMPLE 2


Plasmid Construction for Thermosynechococcus elongatus BP-1



[0174] Thermosynechococcus elongatus BP-1 is selected as another exemplary CO2 fixing production host and is modified by engineered nucleic acids to functionally delete certain genes and/or to express, overexpress certain genes.

[0175] Four plasmids (pJB518, pJB59, pJB20, and pJB21), all derivatives of pJB5, were constructed to permit homologous recombination into four different loci in the Thermosynechococcus elongatus BP-1 genome. Specifically, the 0.5 kb upstream homology (UH) and downstream homology (DH) regions used for Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 homologous recombination in pJB5 were replaced by the following approximately 2.5 kb T. elongatus BP-1 (Accession NC_004113) regions: coordinates 831908-834231 (UH) and 834232-836607 (DH) genome for pJB18, 454847-457252 (UH) and 457252-459740 (DH) for pJB19, 481310-483712 (UH) and 483709-486109 (DH) for pJB20, and 787356-789654 (UH) 791080-793494 (DH) for pJB21. The first three homology regions are based on integration sites TS1, TS3, and TS4 described in Onai K. et al. (2004). "Natural transformation of the thermophilic cyanobacterium Thermosynechococcus elongatus BP-1: a simple and efficient method for gene transfer." Mol. Gen. Genomics 271: 50-59. The last is designed to delete completely the glgA open reading frame, encoding glycogen synthase: The purpose of this deletion is to minimize competing fixed carbon flux towards glycogen once the ethanol-producing genes are integrated into the chromosome.

[0176] All T. elongatus BP-1 homology regions were generated by PCR using Phusion™ Hot Start High-Fidelity DNA Polymerase (Developed & Manufactured By Finnzymes Oy. Distributed by New England Biolabs, Ipswitch, MA) according to manufacturer's instructions. The UH forward PCR primer has a 5'-terminal Sbfl restriction site, the UH reverse PCR primer a 5'-terminal NotI restriction site, the DH forward PCR primer a 5'-terminal AscI restriction site, and the DH reverse PCR primer a 5'-terminal FseI restriction site. For pJB18, pJB59, pJB20, and pJB21, the UH region is first inserted into pJB5 via restriction digestion with SbfI and NotI (New England Biolabs; Ipswitch, MA) of both vector and PCR-generated insert, followed by with a Quick Ligation Kit (New England Biolabs; Ipswitch, MA). The ligated construct is transformed into NEB 5-alpha Competent E. coli (High Efficiency) (New England Biolabs: Ipswitch, MA). The sequence of the UH region in pHB5 is validated by contract sequencing with GENEWIZ (South Plainfield, NJ). For pJB 18, pJB19, pJB20, and pJB21, the DH region is then inserted into the pJB5-UH region construct exactly as done for the UH region, except that restriction enzymes AscI and FseI are used (New England Biolabs; Ipswitch, MA). DH regions are sequence confirmed by contract sequencing with GENEWIZ (South Plainfield, NJ).

[0177] Into each of pJB18, pJB19, pJB20, and pJB21, two different versions of the pyruvate decarboxylase (pdc)/alcohol dehydrogenase (adhII) operons are cloned, creating a set of eight plasmids ready for integration into the T. elongatus BP-1 genome. In each case, the selectable marker is the pJB5 aadA gene encoding resistance to spectinomycin and streptomycin. The first version of the operon comprises the pdc and adhII genes from Zymomonas mobilis (Genbank: DD161475, M15394) and is designed with an NdeI site covering the start codon of the pdc coding sequence. Following the pdc gene in order are: an XhoI restriction site, a BamHI restriction site, the adhII coding sequence, the natural Zymomonas mobilis adhII terminator, and finally an EcoRI restriction site. The second version of the operon, designed to encode relatively more thermostable versions of pyruvate decarboxylase and alcohol dehydrogenase, comprised the pdc gene from Zymobacter palmae (GenBank: AF474145) and the adhII mutant TS42 described in Rellos et al., Protein Expr. Purif., 12:61-61 (1998), and is otherwise identical to the first construct in all other ways. Both constructs are made by contract synthesis from DNA2.0 (Menlo Park, CA) and are inserted by restriction digest with NdeI and EcoRI (New England Biolabs; Ipswitch, MA) into pJB18, pJB59, pJB20, and pJB21, followed by ligation with a Quick Ligation Kit (New England Biolabs; Ipswitch, MA). In this way eight pdc-adhII operon plasmids are constructed: pJB22, pJB23, pJB24, and pJB25 containing operon version 1, based on pJB 18, pJB 19, pJB20, and pJB21, respectively, and pJB26, pJB27, pJB28, and pJB29 containing operon version 2, based on pJB 18, pJB 19, pJB20, and pJB21, respectively.

[0178] In plasmids pJB22, pJB23, pJB24, pJB25, pJB26, pJB27, pJB28, and pJB29, the pdc-adhII operon is expressed by the constitutive PaphII promoter, which is flanked by unique NotI and NdeI restriction sites. These sites permit other constitutive promoters to be cloned in, in lieu of the PaphII promoter, in case that promoter does not afford sufficient expression of the operon when integrated into the genome of T. elongatus BP-1. Separate plasmids are constructed (pJB9, pJB 10, pJB11, pJB12, pJB 13, pJB 14, pJB 15, pJB16, and pJB 17), all made by contract synthesis e.g., DNA2.0 (Menlo Park, CA), each bearing one of nine candidate alternative constitutive promoters flanked by NotI and NdeI sites so they can replace the PaphII promoter by standard cloning methods. Seven of those promoters are native T. elongatus BP-1 promoters, corresponding to the upstream sequence of the following genes: cpcC, apcA, tsr2142, psaA, rbcL, hsp33, and trnE_UUC and two are E. coli-type promoters: Ptac (as described in De Boer et al., Proc Natl Acad USA 80:21-25 (1983)) and the synthetic PEM7 promoter.

EXAMPLE 3


Engineered Microorganisms Producing Ethanol



[0179] Genetically Modified Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002: Each of the constructs as described in Example 1 was integrated onto the genome of Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 using the following protocol. Synechococcus 7002 was grown for 48h from colonies in an incubated shaker flask at 30°C at 1% CO2 to an OD730 of 1 in A+ medium described in Frigaard NU et al. (2004) "Gene inactivation in the cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 and the green sulfur bacterium Chlorobium tepidum using in vitro-made DNA constructs and natural transformation" Methods Mol Biol 274:325-340. 500µL of culture was added to a test-tube with 30µL of 1-5µg of DNA prepped from a Qiagen Qiaprep Spin Miniprep Kit (Valencia, CA) for each construct. Cells were incubated bubbling in 1% CO2 at approximately 1 bubble every 2 seconds for 4 hours. 200µL of cells were plated on A+ medium plates with 1.5% agarose and grown at 30°C for two days in low light. 10 µg/mL of spectinomycin was underplayed on the plates. Resistant colonies were visible in 7-10 days.

[0180] Strain Construction and Expression of Moorella sp. HUC22-1 AdhA: The sequence for Moorella sp. HUC22-1 AdhA has been shown to be an NADP utilizing alcohol dehydrogenase that is also thermostable and preferential for the reduction of acetaldehyde [Inokuma et al., Arch. Microbiol., 188:37-45 (2007)]. While the sequence has not been published, the amino acid similarity to AdhIV from Moorella thermoacetica (Accession Number: ABC20211) was 100%. The nucleic acid sequence of AdhIV from Moorella thermoacetica (Accession Number: CP000232) was codon optimized for expression and constructed by DNA 2.0 and designated as SEQ ID NO: 1 (the encoded amino acid is SEQ ID NO: 2). The sequence is flanked with CTCGAGTTGGATCC on the 5' end, which encodes the Xho and BamHI restriction sites, and on the 3' end with TTTCAAAACAGGAATTC on the 3' end (similar to pJB5-3) which contains an EcoRI site for the purposes of cloning into expression vectors.

[0181] The Moorella adhA was then cloned downstream of two pyruvate decarboxylase genes, one from Zymomonas mobilis (Accession number: AAV89984) and one from Zymobacter palmae (Accession Number: AAM49566) to form the expression plasmids pJB136 and pJB133, respectively. As controls, expression plasmids were constructed for the Z. mobilis pyruvate decarboxylase gene with the Z. mobilis adhII (Accession Number: YP_163331), and the Z. palmae pyruvate decarboxylase gene with an improved thermotolerant adhII TS42 [Rellos et al., Protein Expression and Purification, 12:61-66 (1998)] to form pJB5-3 and pJB5-4 respectively.

[0182] The plasmids pJB5-3, pJB5-4, pJB133, pJB136 were cloned into Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 (JCC1) using standard procedures and designated as JCC136, JCC137, JCC445, JCC446 respectively (Table 3).



[0183] JCC1, JCC136, JCC137, JCC445, JCC446 were grown on A+ media plates (1.5% agar) with 100 ug/mL spectinomycin for transgenic strains. A single colony was grown in 10mL A+ with 100ug/mL spectinomycin in a test tube immersed in a 37C bath with 1% CO2 bubbled through. Cultures were grown to OD730nm 5.0 or higher (Molecular Devices Spectramax M2e; previously determined that an OD730nm of 1 is equal to ∼0.3 g CDW), and then spun down (21,000 RCF, 20C, 5 min), resuspended in fresh A+ media to original concentration, and then appropriately back-diluted to OD730nm 0.2 in 25mL A+ in a baffled 125mL shaker flask. Approximately 1mL of culture was taken for each time point (0,6,24,48,72 hours post-dilution; 6 hour time point not plotted for time spacing reasons), OD730nm was recorded (appropriately diluted to give reading between 0.04 and 0.4, which was previously determined to be most accurate range on the Spectramax M2e). Samples were immediately spun down at 4C for 10min at 21,000 RCF. Supernatant was placed in a new tube, and frozen at -80C until ready for analysis.

[0184] Supernatant of each time point was analyzed for ethanol and acetaldehyde by use of an Agilent 7890 Gas Chromatograph equipped with a headspace analyzer and a flame ionization detector (Agilent) using a J&W Scientific DB-ALC1 (Catalog Number: 123-9134; length: 30m, Inner Diamter, 0.320mm, Film Thickness: 1.80um). 100uL of each samples was subjected to headspace analysis. Controls were measured for A+ alone, and as well as from serial dilution of standards for ethanol and acetaldehyde obtained from Sigma to obtain a calibration curve.

[0185] To measure the optical densities, ethanol and acetaldehyde concentrations, cultures were backdiluted from OD730nm 5 or greater to a starting OD730nm and timepoints were taken at 0, 24, 48, and 72 hours post-dilution.

[0186] Optical densities of wildtype and various transgenic Synechococcus sp. cultures are shown (Figure 5). The graph shows plots of OD730nm measurements at each timepoint. Resulting OD measurements are shown Table4.



[0187] Ethanol concentrations of cultures in the supernatant are plotted showing increased ethanol concentrations with respect to time in various in transgenic Synechococcus species cultures (Figure 6). Notably, higher ethanol concentration was measured in JCC445, the strain transformed with Moorella adhA at 72 hours (Table 5).



[0188] Additionally, decreased acetaldehdye concentrations were observed at various timepoints in the strains transformed with Moorella adhA (Figure 7 and Table 6).



[0189] At later timepoints, the strains transformed with Moorella adhA (JCC445 and JCC446) show marked increases in the ratio of ethanol to acetaldehyde as compared to the Z. mobilis based alcohol dehdyrogenases as shown in cultures over time (Figure 8 and Table 7).





[0190] Figure 9 depicts ethanol to OD730nm ratios of cultures over time. Plotted are the ratios of ethanol concentration to OD730nm in the supernatant at each timepoint. The ratio of the strains transformed with Z. mobilis adh (JCC 136 and JCC 137) quickly arrive at a steady state whereas, the ratio of the strains transformed with Moorella adhA constructs (JCC445 and JCC446) increase over time (Table 8).



[0191] Genetically Modified Thermosynechococcus elongatus BP-1: From Example 2, pJB22, pJB23, pJB24, pJB25, pJB26, pJB27, pJB28, and pJB29 are integrated into the chromosome of T. elongatus BP-1 by homologous recombination using the transformation method detailed in Onai K. et al. (2004). "Natural transformation of the thermophilic cyanobacterium Thermosynechococcus elongatus BP-1: a simple and efficient method for gene transfer." Mol. Gen. Genomics 271: 50-59. The selection antibiotics used are spectinomycin plus streptomycin.

Informal Sequence Listing



[0192] 

SEQ ID NO: 1
Codon optimized Moorella adhA gene

SEQ ID NO: 2
Moorella sp. HUC22-1 and Moorella thermoacetica amino acid sequence




Claims

1. A genetically modified photosynthetic microbial host cell that produces ethanol, wherein the host cell is genetically modified to comprise an exogenous engineered nucleic acid that encodes a NADPH-dependent alcohol dehydrogenase activity.
 
2. The cell of claim 1, wherein the NADPH-dependent alcohol dehydrogenase activity is Moorella sp. HUC22-1 adhA.
 
3. The cell of claim 1 or 2, which also encodes a pyruvate decarboxylase activity.
 
4. The cell of claim 3, wherein the pyruvate decarboxylase activity is selected from Z. palmae and Z. mobilis pdc activity.
 
5. The cell of claim 1, wherein the NADPH-dependent alcohol dehydrogenase coding sequence is at least 77.1% identical to SEQ ID NO: 1.
 
6. The cell of claim 1, wherein the NADPH-dependent alcohol dehydrogenase is at least 72% identical to SEQ ID NO: 2.
 
7. The cell of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the NADPH-dependent alcohol dehydrogenase coding sequence and/or the pyruvate decarboxylase coding sequence is under the control of an inducible promoter.
 
8. The cell of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the cell in culture is capable of producing ethanol in a yield of at least about 249 mg/L culture medium in 72 hours, preferably wherein

(i) the yield is at least about 296 mg/L of ethanol over 72 hours;

(ii) the yield is 2.5 to 5 g/L culture medium per hr;

(iii) the level of acetaldehyde in said culture after 72 hours is less than about 14 mg/L;

(iv) the cell in culture produces at least about 36mg/L of ethanol per OD; or

(v) the cell in culture produces at least about 47 mg/L of ethanol per OD.


 
9. The cell of any one of the preceding claim, which is a cyanobacterium.
 
10. The cell of claim 9, which is Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002, Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942, Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, or Thermosynechococcus elongatus BP-1.
 
11. Use of the cell of any one of the preceding claims for producing ethanol.
 
12. A method for producing ethanol, comprising culturing the cell of any one of claims 1 to 10 and then isolating the ethanol from said cell or culture medium.
 
13. The method of claim 12, wherein the cell is cultured in a photobioreactor.
 


Ansprüche

1. Genetisch modifizierte photosynthetische mikrobielle Wirtszelle, die Ethanol produziert, wobei die Wirtszelle genetisch so modifiziert ist, dass sie eine exogene manipulierte Nucleinsäure umfasst, die eine NADPH-abhängige Alkoholdehydrogenase-Aktivität codiert.
 
2. Zelle gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei die NADPH-abhängige Alkoholdehydrogenase-Aktivität Moorella sp. HUC22-1-adhA ist.
 
3. Zelle gemäß Anspruch 1 oder 2, die auch eine Pyruvatdecarboxylase-Aktivität codiert.
 
4. Zelle gemäß Anspruch 3, wobei die Pyruvatdecarboxylase-Aktivität aus Z. palmae- und Z. mobilis-pdc-Aktivität ausgewählt ist.
 
5. Zelle gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei die NADPH-abhängige Alkoholdehydrogenasecodierende Sequenz zu wenigstens 77,1% identisch mit SEQ ID NO: 1 ist.
 
6. Zelle gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei die NADPH-abhängige Alkoholdehydrogenase zu wenigstens 72% identisch mit SEQ ID NO: 2 ist.
 
7. Zelle gemäß einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, wobei die NADPH-abhängige Alkoholdehydrogenase-codierende Sequenz und/oder die Pyruvatdecarboxylase-codierende Sequenz unter der Kontrolle eines induzierbaren Promotors sind/ist.
 
8. Zelle gemäß einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, wobei die Zelle in Kultur fähig ist, Ethanol in einer Ausbeute von wenigstens 249 mg/l Kulturmedium in 72 Stunden zu produzieren, wobei vorzugsweise

(i) die Ausbeute wenigstens etwa 296 mg/l Ethanol über 72 Stunden ist;

(ii) die Ausbeute 2,5 bis 5 g/l Kulturmedium pro h ist;

(iii) der Acetaldehyd-Level in der Kultur nach 72 Stunden weniger als etwa 14 mg/l ist;

(iv) die Zelle in Kultur wenigstens etwa 36 mg/l Ethanol pro OD produziert oder

(v) die Zelle in Kultur wenigstens etwa 47 mg/l Ethanol pro OD produziert.


 
9. Zelle gemäß einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, die ein Cyanobakterium ist.
 
10. Zelle gemäß Anspruch 9, die Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002, Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942, Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 oder Thermosynechococcus elongatus BP-1 ist.
 
11. Verwendung der Zelle gemäß einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche zur Herstellung von Ethanol.
 
12. Verfahren zur Herstellung von Ethanol, das Kultivieren der Zelle gemäß einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 10 und danach Isolieren des Ethanols aus der Zelle oder dem Kulturmedium umfasst.
 
13. Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 12, wobei die Zelle in einem Photobioreaktor kultiviert wird.
 


Revendications

1. Cellule hôte microbienne photosynthétique, génétiquement modifiée, qui produit de l'éthanol, laquelle cellule hôte est génétiquement modifiée de manière à comprendre un acide nucléique exogène qui a été soumis à des opérations de génie génétique et qui code une activité d'alcool déshydrogénase NADPH-dépendante.
 
2. Cellule conforme à la revendication 1, pour laquelle l'activité d'alcool déshydrogénase NADPH-dépendante est l'activité adhA de Moorella sp. HUC22-1.
 
3. Cellule conforme à la revendication 1 ou 2, qui code également une activité de pyruvate décarboxylase.
 
4. Cellule conforme à la revendication 3, pour laquelle l'activité de pyruvate décarboxylase est choisie parmi les activités pdc de Z. palmae et de Z. mobilis.
 
5. Cellule conforme à la revendication 1, dans laquelle la séquence codant l'alcool déshydrogénase NADPH-dépendante est identique, pour au moins 77,1 %, à la Séquence N° 1.
 
6. Cellule conforme à la revendication 1, dans laquelle l'alcool déshydrogénase NADPH-dépendante présente une séquence identique, pour au moins 72 %, à la Séquence N° 2.
 
7. Cellule conforme à l'une des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle la séquence codant l'alcool déshydrogénase NADPH-dépendante et/ou la séquence codant la pyruvate décarboxylase est ou sont soumises à la régulation d'un promoteur inductible.
 
8. Cellule conforme à l'une des revendications précédentes, laquelle cellule est capable, en culture, de produire de l'éthanol en un rendement d'au moins environ 249 mg par litre de milieu de culture en 72 heures, étant entendu que, de préférence :

i) le rendement d'éthanol vaut au moins environ 296 mg/L sur 72 heures ;

ii) le rendement vaut de 2,5 à 5 g par litre de milieu de culture et par heure ;

iii) la concentration d'acétaldéhyde dans ladite culture vaut, au bout de 72 heures, moins d'environ 14 mg/L ;

iv) la cellule en culture produit de l'éthanol à raison d'au moins environ 36 mg/L par unité de densité optique ;

v) ou la cellule en culture produit de l'éthanol à raison d'au moins environ 47 mg/L par unité de densité optique.


 
9. Cellule conforme à l'une des revendications précédentes, qui est une cyanobactérie.
 
10. Cellule conforme à la revendication 9, qui est une cellule de Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002, de Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942, de Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, ou de Thermosynechococcus elongatus BP-1.
 
11. Utilisation d'une cellule, conforme à l'une des revendications précédentes, pour produire de l'éthanol.
 
12. Procédé de production d'éthanol, comportant le fait de cultiver une cellule conforme à l'une des revendications 1 à 10, et le fait d'isoler ensuite l'éthanol à partir de ladite cellule ou du milieu de culture.
 
13. Procédé conforme à la revendication 12, dans lequel la cellule est cultivée dans un photo-bioréateur.
 




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REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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Patent documents cited in the description




Non-patent literature cited in the description