Scientists Create ‘Google Map’ For Metabolic Engineering

Asian Scientist Magazine

A team of scientists in South Korea has created a comprehensive metabolic map of pathways for synthesizing industrial bio-based chemicals. SHARE SHARE tweet share AsianScientist (Jan. 28, 2019) – In a review published in Nature Catalysis, scientists in South Korea have produced a metabolic map that charts all available strategies, including metabolic engineering pathways and chemical reactions, that lead to the production of various industrial bio-based chemicals. Metabolic engineering—the practice of using the metabolism of living organisms to produce a desired substance—has become increasingly powerful in addressing the problems of limited fossil resources, climate change and other environmental issues. Unsurprisingly, the number of microbially-produced chemicals using biomass as a carbon source has increased substantially. In this study, scientists led by scientists led by Distinguished Professor Lee Sang Yup of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea, generated a bio-based chemicals map that could help other scientists to quickly identify and analyze available synthetic pathways for obtaining specific industrial chemicals. The researchers developed the map by performing a detailed review of the literature surrounding metabolically-engineered bacteria. The team also compiled microbial metabolic pathways that could lead to the synthesis of useful substances, overlaying their findings on known chemical synthesis methods. This comprehensive map is expected to serve as a blueprint for the visual and intuitive inspection of biological and chemical reactions for the production of interesting compounds from renewable resources, said the researchers. “We are excited that this review and poster will expand further discussion on the production of important chemicals through engineered microorganisms, thus combining biological and chemical methods in a more sustainable manner,” Lee explained.

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