Abstract of our Project

Glycerol is a byproduct from the biodiesel industry that contaminates the environment and constitutes a real problem worldwide. To help eliminating this compound, we use it as a carbon source for bacteria. We take advantage of Pseudomonas putida, a bacterium capable of adhering to substrate and aggregate to form communities or biofilms. In this state, bacteria are more efficient, robust and resistant than those in suspension and are excellent catalysts of biotechnological use. By using glycerol as the carbon source, bacteria forming biofilms can produce compounds that are beneficial for human beings.

We genetically manipulate P. putida based on in silico predictions to increase glycerol assimilation and to control formation and dispersal of biofilms. Having that, there are a lot of molecules that can be produced by introducing the genes needed for it. We propose producing propionate, as it is a small and simple molecule easy to secrete and with a lot of uses in different industries.

This way, we develop a production platform, eliminating a contaminating compound and producing a useful one in an efficient manner.