We will engineer a bacterium, Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1, to become the first lignin utilizing chassis. The success of this approach will allow harvested biomass to be fully exploited as a raw material. In ADP1, lignin catabolism is modular, making it ideal for developing standardized biochemical parts. Many aromatic compounds are converted to a few ring-cleavage substrates (e.g. catechol and protocatechuate) by “upper pathways.” Such pathways appear to evolve in a stepwise manner that involves clustered genes, subsets of interacting proteins, and pathway modules . Pathway metabolites could be easily derivatized for use as fuel additives, solvents, and other specialty chemicals. Moreover aromatics could be further degraded to acetyl-CoA for use in central carbon metabolism-derived products. Our current project focuses on the upper part of the lignin funnel: the conversion of complex ligninderived mixtures to central metabolites. To date, the inefficient degradation of these mixtures is the primary bottleneck that hinders lignin from being used as a feedstock to make fuels and other chemicals.
|Effective start/end date||8/1/16 → 7/31/21|
- National Science Foundation (MCB-1614953)