EBI Personnel Directory Mendez-Garcia, Celia

Biomass Depolymerization

Celia Mendez-Garcia

cmendezg@illinois.edu

 

 

Project(s)

Diversity and Physiology of Solventogenic Clostridia

We propose to study the Acetone-Butanol-Ethanol (ABE) fermentation in a diverse set of strains obtained from culture collections as well as industrial strains of solventogenic Clostridia: 1) Obtain a wide selection of existing strains from culture collections that are representative type strains or have been used for industrial fermentations. We intend to build a large collection of strains representing the four main species groups. 2) Obtain a newly isolated set of environmental cultures and strains that are capable of solvent production at mesophilic and thermophilic temperatures. We will supplement the extant strains above by bringing into culture a fresh set of isolates of solventogenic Clostridia with the emphasis on thermophilic bacteria capable of producing alcohols and solvents using enrichments and other standard anaerobic laboratory techniques. 3) Screen the above collections for substrate range, diversity of solvent ratios, yields and titres, phage typing as well as genetic tractability to generate a versatile and adaptable set of isolates for future industrial application. The evaluation of the genetic transformability parameters of strains used in the ABE fermentation such as cell viability, transformation efficiency and frequency of transformation are essential steps to identifying which strains are the most adequate for breeding programs and which strains are best suited for genetic and metabolic engineering approaches to enhancing the ABE fermentation.