Metabolic engineering of biocatalysts for carboxylic acids production

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Liu, Ping
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Jarboe, Laura
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Chemical and Biological Engineering

The function of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering has been to prepare students for the study and application of chemistry in industry. This focus has included preparation for employment in various industries as well as the development, design, and operation of equipment and processes within industry.Through the CBE Department, Iowa State University is nationally recognized for its initiatives in bioinformatics, biomaterials, bioproducts, metabolic/tissue engineering, multiphase computational fluid dynamics, advanced polymeric materials and nanostructured materials.

The Department of Chemical Engineering was founded in 1913 under the Department of Physics and Illuminating Engineering. From 1915 to 1931 it was jointly administered by the Divisions of Industrial Science and Engineering, and from 1931 onward it has been under the Division/College of Engineering. In 1928 it merged with Mining Engineering, and from 1973–1979 it merged with Nuclear Engineering. It became Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2005.

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1913 - present

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  • Department of Chemical Engineering (1913–1928)
  • Department of Chemical and Mining Engineering (1928–1957)
  • Department of Chemical Engineering (1957–1973, 1979–2005)
    • Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (2005–present)

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Fermentation of renewable feedstocks by microbes to produce sustainable fuels and chemicals has the potential to replace petrochemical-based production. For example, carboxylic acids produced by microbial fermentation can be used to generate primary building blocks of industrial chemicals by either enzymatic or chemical catalysis. In order to achieve the titer, yield and productivity values required for economically viable processes, the carboxylic acid-producing microbes need to be robust and wellperforming. Traditional strain development methods based on mutagenesis have proven useful in the selection of desirable microbial behavior, such as robustness and carboxylic acid production. On the other hand, rationally-based metabolic engineering, like genetic manipulation for pathway design, has becoming increasingly important to this field and has been used for the production of several organic acids, such as succinic acid, malic acid and lactic acid. This review investigates recent works on Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Escherichia coli , as well as the strategies to improve tolerance towards these chemicals.


This article is from Computational and Structural Biotechnology 3 (2012): e201210011, doi:10.5936/csbj.201210011.

Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2012