Scientists engineer bacteria to produce sugar from carbon dioxide

Discussion in 'Chemistry' started by Plazma Inferno!, Jun 29, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

    All life on planet Earth relies on a process known as Carbon Fixation. This is the ability of plants, algae and various forms of bacteria to pump carbon dioxide from the environment, add solar or other energy and turn it into the sugars that are the required starting point needed for life processes.
    Dr. Niv Antonovsky led the research in Professor Ron Milo’s lab at the Institute’s Plant and Environmental Sciences Department. He says that the ability to improve carbon fixation is crucial for our ability to cope with future challenges including the need to supply food to a growing population on shrinking land resources while using less fossil fuel.
    Scientists inserted the metabolic pathway for carbon fixation and sugar production (the Calvin cycle) into the bacterium E. coli, which is a known consumer organism that east sugar and in turn, releases carbon dioxide. Milo and his group believed that with proper planning, they would be able to attach the genes containing the information for building it into the bacterium’s genome. The main enzyme used in plants to fix carbon, RuBisCO, utilizes as a substrate for the CO2 fixation reaction a metabolite which is toxic for the bacterial cells. This meant the design had to include precisely regulating the expression levels of the various genes across the multistep pathway.
    In part, the team’s plan was a success. The bacteria did produce the carbon fixation enzymes, which were also functional. However, the machinery as a whole did not deliver what it was supposed to. Even though the carbon fixation machinery was expressed, the bacteria failed to use CO2 for sugar synthesis. It ended up relying on an external supply of sugar. Antonovsky says since the team was working with an organism that has evolved over millions of years to eat sugar, not CO2, they turned to evolution to help build the system they required.
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  3. ajanta Registered Senior Member

    Interesting though I don't know it produces O2 or not but sugarcane produces sugar and O2 also.
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  5. timojin Valued Senior Member

    I wonder what size of colony do you have to have to produce a meaningful amount of sugar.
    As I posted before lets plant more tree so they can pick up the CO2 produce cellulose and O2 ,
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  7. ajanta Registered Senior Member

    Glucose (C6H12O6) is an example of a hydrocarbon and a simple sugar. The most common reaction of glucose with oxygen is through the combustion reaction. So animals need oxygen to food oxidation. So

    C6H12O6 + O2 ---> CO2 + H2O

    The equation needs to be balanced as:

    C6H12O6 + 6O2 ---> 6CO2 + 6H2O


    Photosynthesis is the process in plants and certain other organisms that uses the energy from the sun to convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose (a sugar) and oxygen.

    The overall balanced chemical equation for the reaction is:

    6 CO2+ 6 H2O → C6H12O6+ 6 O2

    So it's about recycle.

    But if the sugar is used to produce fuel(ethanol) then we need oxygen for burn it. So if they able to produce sugar without oxygen by bacteria then the have to produce oxygen and to recycle also and that I was thinking about.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016
  8. ajanta Registered Senior Member


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  9. Q-reeus Banned Valued Senior Member

    The article and OP title: "Scientists Engineer Bacteria to Produce Sugar from Carbon Dioxide"
    The bottom line of article content:
    Anyone else notice a 'slight' discrepancy? Accentuating the positive has it's limitations.
    ajanta likes this.

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