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Development of a microbial cell factory for 3-hydroxypropionic production

Grant number: 19/07902-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2019
Effective date (End): April 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering
Principal researcher:Adilson José da Silva
Grantee:Gabriel Luz Chaves
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Exatas e de Tecnologia (CCET). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:16/10636-8 - From the cell factory to the Biodiesel-Bioethanol integrated biorefinery: a systems approach applied to complex problems in micro and macroscales, AP.BIOEN.TEM


3-hydroxypropionic acid (3-HP) was ranked by the US Department of Energy (DOE) among the Top 10 most promising value-added chemicals that can be derived from biomass in a biorefinery. Thanks to its two functional groups, 3-HP is readily reactive and has great potential to replace petroleum derivatives in the chemistry industry and for biopolymers production. In this project, we propose the development of recombinant strains of Escherichia coli for establishment of a bioprocess to produce 3-HP, to replace the expensive and harmful conventional processes. For this purpose, metabolic engineering strategies will be employed for design and development of 3-HP producing strains that will be grown using xylose, simulating the usage of the hemicellulosic fraction residue from a bioethanol biorefinery. For the strain design, literature data will be combined with in silico optimization results from simulations of a genome-scale metabolic model to define the set of genetic modifications most promising to improve the 3-HP production. The predicted modifications will be gradually implemented in E. coli K-12 cells, and shaken flasks cultures will be run to analyze the production of 3-HP, cell growth and byproducts formation during the process. At the end, it is expected the development of E. coli cells able to produce 3-HP for the future implementation of this bioprocess in the context of a biorefinery. (AU)

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