Team:Costa Rica Cibus/Project


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Home Cibus Team Team Profile Project Our Parts Modeling Notebook Biosafety Attributions


Overall project

Cibus 3.0 is a synthetic biology project that wants to transform whey into biodiesel. Whey is one the biggest industrial residues in Costa Rica. We annually produce more than a million tons among big, medium and small producers. Dairy products are mainly produced from the fat found in the milk (around 3-4%). When fat is extracted the residual (around 97%) is disposed with no other use than food for pigs and some energetic beverages. In big companies this whey is treated before goes to rivers, but in the case of small producers this usually does not happen because lack of resources and chemical complexity of whey.

Whey is rich in lactose, a sugar tipically found in milk. Our main goal is that Rhodococcus opacus, a fat hyper acumulative bacteria, can abosrb lactose, transform it in more simple carbohidrates to metabolize and insert them in the pathway of triacylglycerols to in fall transesterification by a lipase copy from Pseudomonas sp. In a short term we expect to insert a set of genes that may transform glycerol into ethanol, a necesary compund that combined with triacyl produce biodiesel.

Project Details


1. Bacillus subtilis with a set of four genes from Lactobacillus casei to increase its capability to use lactose as feedstock for triacylglycerols (TAG).

2. A lipase inserted in B. subtilis will produce transesterification of TAG, disrupting TAG in triacyl and glycerol.

3. A third gene, Diglyceride acyltransferase (DGAT) will catalyzes the formation of triglycerides from diacylglycerol and Acyl-CoA improving the connection between lactose consumption and TAG production.

The Experiments

Part 3