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Research project: Essigsäurebakterien
 
Acetic acid bacteria as biotransformation factories
Project time: 01.10.09-31.07.13
Cluster coordinator: Prof. Dr. Uwe Deppenmeier, Rhein. Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Bonn
Project partners: (alphabetical order)
   Prof. Dr. Michael Bott, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
   Dr. Stephanie Bringer, Forschungszentrum Jülich
   Prof. Dr. Jochen Büchs, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen
   Prof. Dr. Uwe Deppenmeier, Rhein. Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
   Dr. Armin Ehrenreich, TU München
   PD Dr. Michael Hoppert, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
   Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Liebl, Technische Universität München
   Dr. Katharina Nöh, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
   Dr. Marco Oldiges, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
   Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wiechert, Forschungszentrum Jülich

      Overview subprojects


Acetic acid bacteria are characterized by their ability for the incomplete and stereoselective oxidation of a wide range of carbohydrates and alcohols. This feature is utilized in several combined biotechnological-chemical procedures. Therefore, it is important to understand the overall concepts of this type of physiology to construct strains for improved or new oxidative bioprocesses.
The genetics, gene regulation and biochemistry of acetic acid bacteria will be investigated by the three network groups Deppenmeier/Hoppert, Bringer-Meyer/Bott, and Ehrenreich/Liebl. All these groups share the goal to analyze membrane-bound enzymes that can be directly used for biotransformations. This approach includes the elucidation of enzymes involved in the respiratory chain and in oxidative conversions, as well as mining for such enzymes from the uncultured diversity of acetic acid bacteria. Biomass samples of acetic acid bacteria cultivated under different well controlled conditions (by the group of Prof. Büchs) will be used as reference in the consortium. Metabolome and fluxome analysis of production strains and mutants will be examined with carbon labeling experiments, LC-MS/MS analytics and metabolic flux models in conjunction with Prof. Wiechert and Drs. Nöh and Oldiges. For this purpose the set-up of an efficient raw data evaluation workflow is required. The implications for designing effective metabolic engineered routes to improve production processes with acetic acid bacteria will be investigated. In parallel, gene expression and protein profiles will be analyzed to identify transcriptional regulators involved in the central metabolism of G. oxydans, which will aid in efficient metabolic engineering (Dr. Bringer-Meyer/Prof Bott). Dr. Hoppert is specialized in electron microscopy and will identify fine structures in production strains that are important for increased bioconversion. The research group of Prof. Büchs will develop new measuring devices and parallel culture systems to characterize membrane-bound enzymes from acetic acid bacteria in micro titer plate scale. Additionally, novel methods for improved bioprocessing and scale-up will be investigated with the objective of optimizing production efficiencies. All these studies will form the basis for effective strain development. The work of the academic partners in this collaborative project is linked with four companies who are interested in the exploitation of the results.The proposed network will perform application-oriented research and combines methods of genome research, strain development, computer-based modeling and bioprocessing techniques for the optimization of metabolic pathways found in acetic acid bacteria. The focus is on the production of new and novel natural compounds with functional features and industrial relevance. The goals also include the improvement of acetic acid bacteria to dramatically increase the stability, robustness and efficiency of the current industrial procedures and to develop novel applications.