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Current Opinion in Biotechnology
Vol. 50, 20
18, Pages: 189-194

Applications of methylotrophs: can single carbon be harnessed for biotechnology?

Ludmila Chistoserdova

Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, United States.


This review summarizes developments in the field of applied research involving microbial conversion of single carbon compounds (methane, methanol, CO2). The potential of the microorganisms involved in biotechnological applications could be realized via engineering native C1 utilizers toward higher output of value-added compounds, including biofuels, or via production of value chemicals as parts of novel, heterologously expressed biochemical pathways. Alternatively, C1 metabolism could be implemented in traditional industrial platforms (Escherichia coli, yeast), via introduction of specific metabolic modules. Most recent research spanning both approaches is covered. The potential of C1 utilizers in biomining of rare Earth elements, as well as the potential of C1 consuming microbial consortia in industrial applications are discussed.

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