Green Biologics has received funding from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), based in UK, to engineer a bacterial host for biobutanol production. The project is in collaboration with the Clostridia Research Group (CRG) at the University of Nottingham which is funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
The goal of the 18 month project is to develop a novel bacterial host for the production of 1-butanol from renewable feedstocks. The strategy focuses on the modification of a clostridium species (Clostridium pasteurianum) for the fast growing renewable chemicals market. According to Green Biologics, this microbe has many desirable features that make it an attractive fermentation host including fast growth rates, robustness and good butanol tolerance, but suffers from technical limitations.
In this project, the partners will deploy advanced molecular biology tools for clostridia and introduce synthetic metabolic pathways that increase the range of feedstocks and also improve butanol production. The deliverable will be a novel engineered strain C. pasteurianum that ferments starch to butanol in high yield.
Sean Sutcliffe, CEO at Green Biologics (GBL), said, ”We are extremely pleased to receive grant funding from the TSB. This award recognises GBL’s leading technical and commercialisation leadership position and also facilitates collaboration with the CRG led by Professor Nigel Minton from the University of Nottingham, a world expert in clostridial gene technologies.”
The CRG, one of the largest labs at Nottingham, develops and patents advanced gene tools for the modification and manipulation of clostridial genomes focused on strain enhancements.
“Green Biologics is developing next generation products using clostridia as production hosts. This project builds on GBL’s extensive industrial strain collection and opens up longer term market opportunities,” added Dr. Edward Green, CSO at GBL. “We are greatly encouraged by the recent alignment between the TSB and the research councils for Industrial Biotechnology which enables meaningful collaboration between academics and SME’s. Funding initiatives are essential to maintain a UK leadership position.”