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Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Vol. 99 (4), 2015, Pages: 1627-1636

Recent applications of Vitreoscilla hemoglobin technology in bioproduct synthesis and bioremediation

Benjamin C. Stark, Krishna R. Pagilla, Kanak L. Dikshit

Biology Division, Department of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL, 60616, USA.


Since its first use in 1990 to enhance production of α-amylase in E. coli, engineering of heterologous hosts to express the hemoglobin from the bacterium Vitreoscilla (VHb) has become a widely used strategy to enhance production of a variety of bioproducts, stimulate bioremediation, and increase growth and survival of engineered organisms. The hosts have included a variety of bacteria, yeast, fungi, higher plants, and even animals. The beneficial effects of VHb expression are presumably the result of one or more of its activities. The available evidence indicates that these include oxygen binding and delivery to the respiratory chain and oxygenases, protection against reactive oxygen species, and control of gene expression. In the past 4 to 5 years, the use of this “VHb technology” has continued in a variety of biotechnological applications in a wide range of organisms. These include enhancement of production of an ever wider array of bioproducts, new applications in bioremediation, a possible role in enhancing aerobic waste water treatment, and the potential to enhance growth and survival of both plants and animals of economic importance.

Keywords: Bioproducts, Bioremediation, Genetic engineering, Vitreoscilla hemoglobin, Waste water.

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