FURI | Fall 2020

Microbial Engineering for the Production of Ethyl Lactate

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Esters and their precursors are economically viable hydrocarbons, especially known for their biodegradable properties. With the aim of synthesizing these green chemicals through a greener process we chose a biocatalysis route. Spontaneity of esterification reactions was analysed through a web-based eQuilibrator tool by calculating their Gibbs free energy change. Simultaneous investigation was performed to mine for various esterase and acyl-alcohol transferase enzymes. Protein database search, sequence (blastp) and structure (TM-align) alignments yielded three functionally related but structurally distinct enzymes, namely ATF1, ATF2 and LgATF1. Further in silico and in vitro laboratory studies can confirm their functionality in ester biosynthesis.

Student researcher

Melody Cymbor

Chemical engineering

Hometown: Paris, Ile de France, France

Graduation date: Spring 2021