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It is a well-known fact that our current way of life as a species is greatly affecting our planet in a negative way. With massive emissions of greenhouse gases we’ve started seeing effects such as global warming. One way to greatly reduce greenhouse gas emission is to replace petroleum based chemical synthesis. Microbial biosynthesis is considered by many to be the most viable alternative to the petroleum based platform.
However, biosynthesis may sound promising but it still has a few question marks to straighten out before we can see it as a perfect solution to our problems.
Biosynthesis of certain products has a high cost-to-benefit ratio, with substrate comprising a major part of the total costs for industrial fermentation. With this in mind, our idea is to create a self-sustaining microbial system that produces its own substrate using photosynthesis. We want to create a co-culture where a photosynthetic cyanobacterium provides a production organism with the carbon substrate. Thus by using this co-culture we could convert sunlight and carbon dioxide into desired products. By developing multiple production organisms specialized in synthesizing different products, we could create an ease-of-use library enabling quick access to environmental friendly biosynthesis.