A Synthetic Biology Approach for the Design of Flexible and Efficient Production Platforms in Synechocystis Sp PCC6803

Authors: 
Dandapani, H., University of Turku
Thiel, K., University of Turku
Kallio, P., University of Turku
Mulaku, E., University of Turku
Aro, E. M., University of Turku

One of the challenges in the current biofuel research is to effectively harness the native photosynthetic capacity of cyanobacteria for the production of desired metabolites. Despite the potential, the obtained photon conversion efficiencies remain low and yields non-competitive in regards to viable industrial-scale applications.

Our current research is focused on synthetic biology, aiming at engineering more efficient production platforms with flexible means of modification and optimization. We are employing a modified Bio-Brick approach [1] to effectively assemble operons in expression vectors designed for Synechocystis sp. PCC6803. The systems can be used, for example, for RBS optimization of individual genes or entire operons, and evaluation of different integration sites used for protein over-expression from the host genome.

The ultimate aim is to combine (i) the tools for engineering optimized heterologous pathways for biofuel production with (ii) different modification strategies of the host metabolism for maximal photon conversion efficiency and metabolic flux from CO2 towards the final products.