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Expression of enzymes related to 1,3-propanediol sustainable production by Clostridium strains from glycerol and other substrates

Grant number: 20/03168-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2020
Effective date (End): December 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Biochemistry of Microorganisms
Principal Investigator:Valeria Reginatto Spiller
Grantee:Jonatã Bortolucci
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):21/06757-2 - Transformation of Clostridium beijerinckii Br21 for insertion of the gene dhaB, to encode the enzyme glycerol dehydratase, BE.EP.MS


Increasing interest in economic practices based on the use of renewable and residual materials have made biotechnological processes some of the most attractive alternatives to add value to such raw materials. For example, biodiesel production from the recycling of oils and fats generates glycerol as a by-product, which in turn has been studied as a carbon source in several bioprocesses, including glycerol conversion to 1,3-propanediol (1,3-PDO) by bacteria of the genus Clostridium. Glycerol is metabolized by two routes: the oxidative route involves the enzymes glycerol dehydrogenase and dihydroxyacetone kinase, whereas the reductive route relies on glycerol dehydratase and 1,3-propanediol oxidoreductase. The final yield of the metabolite 1,3-PDO depends on the gene expression of the enzymes. The use of xylose as a co-substrate increases the formation of reducing equivalents and hence the production of 1,3-PDO. However, this compound alters the enzyme expression profile. In addition to glycerol and carbohydrates, some clostridia can capture CO2, providing an even greater yield of the desired product. Thus, this investigation aims to expand knowledge about the glycerol metabolism pathways by investigating gene expression by qRT-PCR, with a view to the subsequent transformation of the microorganism. (AU)

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