Bioconversion of Methane By the Aerobic Methanotrophic Bacterium Methylomicrobium Buryatense 

Kalyuzhnaya, M. G., San Diego State University
Puri, A., University of Washington
Chu, F., University of Washington
Gilman, A., University of Washington
Fu, Y., University of Washington
Hendershott, M., University of Washington
Beck, D., University of Washington

Biological conversion of biogas-derived methane to liquid products is a promising strategy for the production of fuels and chemicals from an inexpensive renewable resource. The aerobic methane-oxidizing bacterium Methylomicrobium buryatense is a robustly growing, alkaliphilic organism with a naturally high lipid content that was originally isolated on natural gas from a soda lake in Russia. We have developed a set of genetic tools to carry out metabolic engineering in this methanotroph, and applied these plus metabolic models and systems analysis to further increase the lipid content of M. buryatense. Our results demonstrate that this bacterium can potentially be used as a platform for generating fuels and chemicals from methane