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Co-inducer and Antibiotic-free Plasmid Addiction System

Energy, Cleantech & Environmental
Life Sciences
Biologics
Fuels
Renewable Energy
College
College of Arts & Sciences
Researchers
Tabita, Fred
Laguna, Rick
Young, Sarah
Licensing Manager
Dahlman, Jason "Jay"
614/292-7945
dahlman.3@osu.edu

TS-014945 — A novel plasmid addiction system for cost-effective end-product generation.

The fermentative production of biobutanol through the use of Clostridium is a well-known process and utilized for production of solvents and fuels. However, problems with this method include difficulty in genetically manipulating native strains, scalability for industrial applications, and low yie…

The Need

The fermentative production of biobutanol through the use of Clostridium is a well-known process and utilized for production of solvents and fuels. However, problems with this method include difficulty in genetically manipulating native strains, scalability for industrial applications, and low yields. Additionally, the current methods require a large use of antibiotics, which are problematic due to the increase of antibiotic resistant bacterial strains. Alternative microorganisms, such as E. coli, can be manipulated at the plasmid level to produce desired bioproducts and negate the requirements of antibiotics for plasmid stability. These microorganisms can be used for a variety of products such as proteases, human insulin, and antibiotic resistant bacterial treatments. Biofuel production has also gained momentum and is an attractive candidate as an alterative transportation fuel. While promising, current E. coli plasmid-based systems have been limited by costs associated with co-inducer utilization required for regulating and maintaining synthetic genes, dependency on a carbon source, or production quantities for industrial use.

The Technology

The Ohio State University researchers, led by Prof. Bob Tabita, have developed a metabolism-based plasmid addiction system (PAS) that does not require co-inducers or antibiotics and is independent of carbon source. The initial proof of concept was obtained for production of 1-butanol in E. coli. The PAS-based 1-butanol production utilizes lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis and maintenance of cellular redox balance for production of 1-butanol. Hence, the plasmid is necessary for viability of the bacteria and 1-butanol production and consitutive promoters make the system readily amenable to industrial-scale applications. Additional strain modifications will allow for a low-cost system capable of competitive yields of 1-butanol. Furthermore, the PAS-based system is versatile and can be easily modified to produce desired bioproducts.

Commercial Applications

  • Bioproducts and pharmaceuticals for antibiotic resistant treatments
  • Biofuels and synthetic energy sources for aerospace, automotive, and power generation

Benefits/ Advantages

  • Eliminates the need for expensive antibiotics and inducers to maintain plasmid stability and derive overexpression
  • Low-cost industrial scale synthesis feasible