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Chapter 29 : Applications of Stress Response Studies: Biofuel Production

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Applications of Stress Response Studies: Biofuel Production, Page 1 of 2

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Abstract:

This chapter gives examples of unintentional or unwanted chemical and physical stresses and nutrient or physical stresses, and describes general strategies that are used to manage or to sidestep them. This is followed by a discussion of metabolic imbalances as a universal stress associated with microbial biofuel production. Although, currently, the amount of H produced by these systems is relatively small and insufficient to consider scaling up, it is a starting point that can likely be improved on. Strategies that have targeted photosystem II activity have yielded mutants that produce H in the presence of sulfur and have favorable H production rates compared to the parent strain. This illustrates that it is possible to capitalize on detailed knowledge of a stress response to design strategies for enhanced biofuel production. Most fermentative microbes, particularly those that produce longer chain length alcohols such as butanol, produce a mixture of reduced and more oxidized organic fermentation products as a strategy to capture additional ATP by substrate level phosphorylation. Diversion or enhancement of one particular set of reactions toward excreting an energy rich, highly reduced compound can lead to either an excess or insufficiency of key intermediary metabolites. Such metabolic imbalances are another form of cellular stress that can compromise growth.

Citation: McKinlay J, Harwood C. 2011. Applications of Stress Response Studies: Biofuel Production, p 473-480. In Storz G, Hengge R (ed), Bacterial Stress Responses, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816841.ch29

Key Concept Ranking

RNA Polymerase II
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Amino Acid Synthesis
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Image of Figure 1.
Figure 1.

Biofuels discussed in this chapter bracketed by the classes of microbes that produce them.

Citation: McKinlay J, Harwood C. 2011. Applications of Stress Response Studies: Biofuel Production, p 473-480. In Storz G, Hengge R (ed), Bacterial Stress Responses, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816841.ch29
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Image of Figure 2.
Figure 2.

Example of fermentation of glucose to various products by clostridia. The compounds shown in bold on the left side of the figure are associated with ATP production via substrate level phosphorylation. Cells produce the compounds shown in bold on the right side of the figure to achieve redox balance by recycling redox cofactors. Such products have a relatively high energy and electron content and are potential biofuels. Preventing formation of products on the left side can impose stresses linked to a lack of energy production and ADP/ATP imbalances. Preventing formation of products on the right side can impose stresses linked to the distribution of electrons and imbalances in redox cofactor ratios. Other products produced by various clostridia (e.g., acetone) are not shown.

Citation: McKinlay J, Harwood C. 2011. Applications of Stress Response Studies: Biofuel Production, p 473-480. In Storz G, Hengge R (ed), Bacterial Stress Responses, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816841.ch29
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