FURI | Spring 2024

Simultaneous Production of D-Lactic Acid and Ethylene by Engineered Cyanobacteria

Sustainability icon, disabled. A green leaf.

With the depletion of fossil fuel sources and increasing demand for energy production, alternative sources for energy and raw material production are needed. An alternative strategy is to use cyanobacteria as a microbial cell factory for renewable resource production as they can capture CO2 and convert it to useful material. A model of cyanobacteria strain, Synechocystis PCC 6803, can be used to sustainably produce both D-lactic acid and ethylene. In previous work, a plasmid was constructed that had the gldA101 gene and was then transformed into PCC 6803. An ethylene forming enzyme gene, efe, also previously had increased expression in PCC 6803 through codon optimization. The research aims to measure the production of D-lactic acid and ethylene in atmospheric air conditions as well as in the presence of acetate.

Student researcher

Tegun Bon Young

Chemical engineering

Hometown: Chandler, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2025