267461 Integrating Systems and Synthetic Biology for Engineering Chemical Production in Bacteria

Monday, October 29, 2012: 4:27 PM
Crawford East (Westin )
Rebecca M. Lennen, Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI and Brian F. Pfleger, Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, WI

Finding a sustainable alternative for today's petrochemical industry is a major challenge facing chemical engineers and society at large. To be sustainable, routes for converting solar energy into organic compounds for use as both fuels and chemical building blocks must be identified, understood, and engineered. Advances in synthetic biology and other biological engineering disciplines have expanded the scope of what can be produced in a living organism. As in other engineering disciplines, synthetic biologists want to apply a general understanding of biology to construct complex systems from well-characterized parts. Once novel synthetic biological systems (e.g. enzymes for biofuel synthesis) are constructed, they must be engineered to function inside living cells without negatively impacting the host's physiology. In most cases first generation systems fail to meet this goal. My group uses systems biology tools to identify metabolic, regulatory, and/or physiological barriers which often can be overcome with metabolic engineering strategies. In this talk, I will describe how we have combined synthetic biology and systems biology to develop strains of bacteria that produce compounds derived from fatty-acids starting from sustainable feedstocks to engineering efforts. Our work has combined functional genomics analysis, synthetic biology construction techniques, bioinformatics, and metabolic modeling to metabolically engineer superior microorganisms. We have tested our strains in media formulated with biomass-derived sugars and are developing photosynthetic microorganisms to by-pass the biomass middle man.

Extended Abstract: File Not Uploaded
See more of this Session: Synthetic Systems Biology II
See more of this Group/Topical: Topical A: Systems Biology