Team:BV CAPS Kansas/Project


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Abstract - The Effects of Increased Pyruvate Kinase Expression on the Production of Alkanes in Cyanobacteria

Humans rely on carbon resources for nutrition and energy. Through industrialization we have become dependent on non-renewable fossil fuels to the detriment of the environment. Recent research into renewable biofuels has included work on the production of corn-based ethanol and the microbial degradation of cellulose from terrestrial plants. Biofuels derived from these sources are not fully sustainable. Third generation biofuels include those derived from microalgae. Cyanbacteria are microalgae known to fix carbon dioxide into alkanes through the collective processes of photosynthesis, glycolysis, and fatty acid biosynthesis. The CAPS iGEM Team 2013 begins metabolic engineering of these pathways by expressing a rabbit muscle derived pyruvate kinase, known to be a key regulator of glycolysis, within the cyanobacteria Synechocystis PCC 6803 in an effort to increase alkane production. Pathways will be modeled using TinkerCell and assays for the production of pyruvate, fatty acids, and alkanes will be used to characterize our system.

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