Image credit: From original research paper under Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0)

 Reviewed by Simpal Kumar Suman (Biotech communicator)

A team of scientists from Israel created an engineered E. coli that consuming carbon dioxide for growth instead of organic compounds. The creation of autotrophic life in E.coli (modal organism) is the great success in the Synthetic Biology. E. coli is the most commonly useful model organism in life science research and development and became integral part of Biotechnology. The creation of this engineered E.coli proved that E.coli has incredible potential of plasticity in metabolic rewiring. A new report published in the journal Cell  in November, 2019. 

Highlighted points:

1.New engineered Escherichia coli has gain ability to produce all its biomass carbon from CO2 .

2.Conversion of obligate heterotroph to full autotrophy over laboratory timescales

3.Formate is oxidized by heterologous formate dehydrogenase to provide reducing power

4.Engineered E. coli strain uses the Calvin-Benson-Bassham cycle (CBB in short Calvin cycle) for carbon fixation.

5.For harvests energy and reducing power scientists used electrochemically produced one-carbon organic molecule formate.

6.After about 200 days, cells capable of using CO2 as their inorganic carbon source for growth.

Future perspectives:

According to Ron Milo, a senior author, at systems biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science explained that One of the grand challenges is the assimilation of atmospheric CO2 for the sustainable production of food, fuels, and biochemicals.

Engineered E.coli may provides a scientific platform to better understand the genetically engineered machine that may offers bioproduction, food production and thus help in the future to increase yield in agriculture.

This work was supported by the European Research Council, the Israel Science Foundation, the Beck-Canadian Center for Alternative Energy Research, Dana and Yossie Hollander, the Helmsley Charitable Foundation, the Larson Charitable Foundation, the Estate of David Arthur Barton, the Anthony Stalbow Charitable Trust, and Stella Gelerman, Canada. The authors declare a provisional patent related to the manuscript.

Journal Reference:

Gleizer et al. Conversion of Escherichia coli to Generate All Biomass Carbon from CO2Cell, 2019 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2019.11.009