Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


PROMYSE — Result In Brief

Project ID: 289540
Funded under: FP7-KBBE
Country: Norway

Methanol-based cell factories

Microbial cell factories use sugars and other food-derived raw materials as substrates for biotechnological production of chemicals. A methanol-based economy as an alternative fuel and feedstock source is a common topic in the scientific community.
Methanol-based cell factories
Methanol supply is based on both fossil and renewable resources, rendering it a highly flexible and sustainable feedstock. However, methylotrophic (methanol-consuming) bacteria typically lack certain favourable traits necessary for industrial application as microbial cell factories. For example, they have high oxygen requirements and technically challenging to genetically engineer.

The EU-funded PROMYSE (Products from methanol by synthetic cell factories) project worked on engineering methylotrophy into non-methylotrophic bacteria using synthetic biology concepts. For biotechnological production, PROMYSE combined orthogonal modularisation of methylotrophy, harnessing methanol as the general feedstock.

Synthetic strategies combined bioengineering and testing with predictions and modelling to generate novel methylotrophs. A major achievement of the project was generation of valuable products using well-established biotechnologically relevant hosts. At the final step, researchers used labelled methanol and demonstrated that the constructed recombinant non-methylotrophic strains could consume and incorporate methanol into cell constituents.

Partners of PROMYSE biochemically characterised six different methanol dehydrogenases and their activator proteins. To incorporate methylotrophy, they transferred each of them to the three selected non-methylotrophic hosts. They have constructed recombinant Bacillus methanolicus strains that produce important platform chemicals used in production of bioplastics, from methanol.

The results of the project were presented in 22 peer-review scientific publications, numerous conference presentations, and 1 patent. Training young scientists, involvement of industry partners and excellent knowledge dissemination will all contribute to readiness for the dawn of an economy with methanol as a major component.

Related information


Methanol, methylotroph, Bacillus methanolicus, Methylobacterium extorquens, platform chemicals, methanol dehydrogenase
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