FURI | Spring 2018

Metabolically Engineering D-Lactate from Corynebacterium Glutamicum

Sustainability icon, disabled. A green leaf.

Plastics used today are manufactured from oil, coal, natural gas, and contribute to environmental pollution. An alternative cost-effective bioplastic, “polylactic acid,” can be produced from D-lactate and L-lactate. D-lactic acid is the uncommon isomer and is not produced in high-levels by microorganisms. So, Corynebacterium glutamicum was metabolically engineered to produce D-lactate from biomass. C. glutamicum was cultured with aromatics, such as vanillin, vanillic acid, and coumarate that are present in biomass hydrolysates and will be analyzed for the presence of D-lactate. Future research will include the construction of a few more engineered strains for increased production of D-lactic acid.

Student researcher

Portrait of Nauroth, Ben

Ben Nauroth

Chemical engineering

Hometown: Cave Creek, Arizona

Graduation date: Spring 2020