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Fast-Growing Cyanobacteria as Cell Factories for Sustainable Bioproduction: Arnon Lecture Hosted by Tasios Melis
March 3 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Himadri Pakrasi, Professor, Washington University in St. Louis
Cyanobacteria and other photosynthetic microorganisms hold great promise as cell factories for sustainable production of food, fuel, and materials. While these non-model organisms may be more difficult to work with as “chassis” strains for synthetic biology than certain heterotrophs, the unique advantages of autotrophs in biotechnology applications as well as the scientific importance of improved understanding of photosynthesis warrant the development of these organisms into systems akin to “green E. coli”. The commonly used photosynthetic microbes grow significantly slower than industrially relevant heterotrophs. During recent years, we have identified a cyanobacterium that grows as fast as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, while using only light and CO2 as the principal feedstocks. The potentials of such fast-growing photosynthetic microbes as autotrophic cell factories will be discussed.