Development of Organic Solvent-Resistant Microorganisms for Applied Bioprocessing
Small Business Information
1035 South 7th St, Manitowoc, WI, 54220
Alan D. Grund, Phd
AbstractThe presence of high concentrations of organic solvents constitutes an extreme environment for microorganisms, yet little work has been done to isolate or develop microorganisms suitable for use under such conditions. There is a need for solvent-resistant microorganisms for use in a variety of such applications, including bioremediation, waste treatment, and biocatalysis. We propose to isolate and develop solvent-resistant microorganisms which could be used for these purposes. Microorganisms capable of growth in the present of 10% (v/v) organic solvent will be isolated by enrichment culture techniques, and through mutagenesis and selection. The catabolic abilities and solvent-resistance of these isolates will be characterized. We intend to clone the genes conferring solvent resistance in these organisms. This will allow rapid development of a wide range of solvent-resistant microbes for bioprocessing applications. The genes will also be placed in other microorganisms whichhave specific metabolic capabiities, thereby enhancing their utility. We will initiate studies dealing withthe physiological basis of microbial solvent resistance. The goal of the Phase I research is to demonstrate that solvent-resistant microorganisms can be isolated, and to begin genetic and biochemical investigations on the basis of this resistance. The long-term goal is the development of technology for rapid creation of solvent-resistant microorganisms for use in a number of commercial applications of interest to both the Department of Defense and the private sector.
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