Developing Lactic Acid Bacteria for the conversion of brown macroalgae to green chemicals and fuels

  • Elleke Fenna Bosma (Guest lecturer)

Activity: Talks and presentationsConference presentations


Microbial conversion of biomass plays a major role in establishing a bio-based economy, which aims at replacing fossil resources with renewable substrates for the production of fuels and chemicals. Current efforts in using non-edible (‘second generation’) biomass rather than food-derived sugars focus on lignocellulosic materials such as crop residues and non-edible plants. However, lignin is often toxic to the production organism and hard to eliminate, and economically feasible conversion of cellulose and hemicellulose is still challenging. An attractive alternative includes brown macroalgae or sea weed, which do not contain lignin, do not require fresh water, are not a major food source, and contain a higher sugar fraction. The main sugars include mannitol, laminarin (glucose) and alginate (guluronate and mannuronate). We focus on using metabolic engineering and laboratory evolution of Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) for the conversion of brown macroalgae into green chemicals and fuels. To select the best-suited production platform, we screened Lactobacillus and Pediococcus strains for growth in sea weed hydrolysate and traits like genetic accessibility, substrate utilization and several stress tolerancesa. The screening resulted in selection of Lactobacillus reuteri for further work, in which the first step is the construction of a metabolic model. The constructed metabolic model provides insight in the metabolism of the strain, as well as into the envisioned engineering strategies. Most microorganisms, including LAB and Lactobacillus reuteri, do not naturally utilize alginates and hence the introduction of these pathways will be the first step in engineering the selected strain.
Period4 May 2018
Event titleInternational Conference on Microbial Food and Feed Ingredients
Event typeConference
LocationCopenhagen, DenmarkShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational