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Microbes reprogrammed to ooze oil for renewable biofuel

Tags: arizona state university, biodesign institute, biofuels

[Source: ScienceDaily] - Using genetic sleight of hand, researcher Xinyao Liu and professor Roy Curtiss at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute have coaxed photosynthetic microbes to secrete oil -- bypassing energy and cost barriers that have hampered green biofuel production.

Their results appear in this week's advanced online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The challenges of developing a renewable biofuel source that is competitive with the current scalability and low-cost of petroleum have been daunting. "The real costs involved in any biofuel production are harvesting the fuel precursors and turning them into fuel," said Roy Curtiss, director of the Biodesign Institute's Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology and professor in the School of Life Sciences. "By releasing their precious cargo outside the cell, we have optimized bacterial metabolic engineering to develop a truly green route to biofuel production."

For more information: Microbes Reprogrammed to Ooze Oil for Renewable Biofuel