Description: Bacteria are an amazing field to work on. They can develop a wide variety of functionalities and properties in a very short time, being easy to work with and extremely versatile. On this basis, we wanted to take advantage of one of the most remarkable characteristics of the bacteria we were working with, Pseudomonas putida – the ability to form biofilms. These structures are composed of communities of bacteria that find themselves integrated in an extracellular polysaccharide-made matrix that protects them from several kind of stress. In addition, they have an increased metabolism, a feature that is often required in industrial production. Therefore, we thought that it would be a good application to try and do some bioremediation with these well-protected high-metabolic bacteria. In first place, we thought about glyphosate, an herbicide that has been demonstrated to be toxic to human. But due to technical difficulties, we could not continue with that idea. Instead, we looked for another substance that was an environmental problem, and found out about glycerol. It is being overproduced in the biofuel industry, and it is starting to become an environmental problem. So we started to model how our bacteria would eat that glycerol, and developed an attack strategy to combine that with biofilm. But what could we do with our grown bacteria? We decided that there could be a product we could produce with these biological reactors, and this product was propionate. It is widely used in a large variety of fields, easy to excrete from our bacteria and, according to the model, easy to produce. Let’s get started, don’t we?
Collaboration details:
Year: 2016Visit Wiki
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Updated at: 8/9/16