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Prof Dr Robert Kourist (left) and Dr Marc Nowaczyk with genetically modified cyanobacteria, © RUB, Marquard

CYANOBACTERIA FOR THE PRODUCTION OF CHEMICALS

Angew. Chem.: RESOLV member Dr. Marc Nowaczyk and Prof. Robert Kourist from the junior research group "Mikrobielle Biotechnologie" at RUB publish in Angewandte Chemie.

To fulfil their function as biocatalysts, enzymes require chemical energy, which is typically supplied in form of sugar or other high-energy bonds. The researchers from Bochum, on the other hand, take advantage of the fact that, like plants, cyanobacteria perform photosynthesis. “During photosynthesis, light energy is initially converted into chemical energy. In the second step, that energy is mainly used for binding of carbon dioxide. However, a small percentage of the energy remains and can be directly utilised,” says Marc Nowaczyk. The approach adopted by the researchers is to decouple the supplied chemical energy from carbon fixation and to use it directly for chemical reactions.

 

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