guy poncing

Synthetic Biology underpins advances in the bioeconomy

Biological systems - including the simplest cells - exhibit a broad range of functions to thrive in their environment. Research in the Imperial College Centre for Synthetic Biology is focused on the possibility of engineering the underlying biochemical processes to solve many of the challenges facing society, from healthcare to sustainable energy. In particular, we model, analyse, design and build biological and biochemical systems in living cells and/or in cell extracts, both exploring and enhancing the engineering potential of biology. 

As part of our research we develop novel methods to accelerate the celebrated Design-Build-Test-Learn synthetic biology cycle. As such research in the Centre for Synthetic Biology highly multi- and interdisciplinary covering computational modelling and machine learning approaches; automated platform development and genetic circuit engineering ; multi-cellular and multi-organismal interactions, including gene drive and genome engineering; metabolic engineering; in vitro/cell-free synthetic biology; engineered phages and directed evolution; and biomimetics, biomaterials and biological engineering.



BibTex format

author = {Wen, Z and Ledesma-Amaro, R and Lin, J and Jiang, Y and Yang, S},
doi = {10.1128/AEM.02560-18},
journal = {Applied and Environmental Microbiology},
title = {Improved n-butanol production from Clostridium cellulovorans by integrated metabolic and evolutionary engineering},
url = {},
volume = {85},
year = {2019}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Clostridium cellulovorans DSM 743B offers potential as a chassis strain for biomass refining by consolidated bioprocessing (CBP). However, its n-butanol production from lignocellulosic biomass has yet to be demonstrated. This study demonstrates the construction of a CoA-dependent acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) pathway in C. cellulovorans by introducing genes of adhE1 and ctfA-ctfB-adc from C. acetobutylicum ATCC 824, which enabled it to produce n-butanol using the abundant and low-cost agricultural waste of alkali-extracted, deshelled corn cobs (AECC) as sole carbon source. Then, a novel adaptive laboratory evolution (ALE) approach was adapted to strengthen the n-butanol tolerance of C. cellulovorans, to fully utilize its n-butanol output potential. To further improve n-butanol production, both metabolic engineering and evolutionary engineering were combined, using the evolved strain as host for metabolic engineering. The n-butanol production from AECC of the engineered C. cellulovorans enhanced 138-fold from less than 0.025 g/L to 3.47 g/L. This method represents a milestone toward n-butanol production by CBP, using single recombinant clostridia. The engineered strain offers a promising CBP-enabling microbial chassis for n-butanol fermentation from lignocellulose.
AU - Wen,Z
AU - Ledesma-Amaro,R
AU - Lin,J
AU - Jiang,Y
AU - Yang,S
DO - 10.1128/AEM.02560-18
PY - 2019///
SN - 0099-2240
TI - Improved n-butanol production from Clostridium cellulovorans by integrated metabolic and evolutionary engineering
T2 - Applied and Environmental Microbiology
UR -
UR -
UR -
VL - 85
ER -