News Column

Recent Studies from Pennsylvania State University Add New Data to Hydrogen

June 4, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Biotech Week -- Research findings on Hydrogen are discussed in a new report. According to news reporting originating from University Park, Pennsylvania, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, "Glycerol is an attractive carbon source for biofuel production since it is cheap and abundant due to the increasing demand for renewable and clean energy sources, which includes production of biodiesel. This research aims to enhance hydrogen production by Escherichia coli from glycerol by manipulating its metabolic pathways via targeted deletions."

Our news editors obtained a quote from the research from Pennsylvania State University, "Since our past strain, which had been engineered for producing hydrogen from glucose, was not suitable for producing hydrogen from glycerol, we rescreened 14 genes related to hydrogen production and glycerol metabolism. We found that 10 single knockouts are beneficial for enhanced hydrogen production from glycerol, namely, frdC (encoding for furmarate reductase), ldhA (lactate dehydrogenase), fdnG (formate dehydrogenase), ppc (phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase), narG (nitrate reductase), focA (formate transporter), hyaB (the large subunit of hydrogenase 1), aceE (pyruvate dehydrogenase), mgsA (methylglyoxal synthase), and hycA (a regulator of the transcriptional regulator FhlA). On that basis, we created multiple knockout strains via successive P1 transductions. Simultaneous knockouts of frdC, ldhA, fdnG, ppc, narG, mgsA, and hycA created the best strain that produced 5-fold higher hydrogen and had a 5-fold higher hydrogen yield than the parent strain. The engineered strain also reached the theoretical maximum yield of 1 mol H-2/mol glycerol after 48 h. Under low partial pressure fermentation, the strain grew over 2-fold faster, indicating faster utilization of glycerol and production of hydrogen."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "By combining metabolic engineering and low partial pressure fermentation, hydrogen production from glycerol was enhanced significantly."

For more information on this research see: Metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli to enhance hydrogen production from glycerol. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 2014;98(10):4757-4770. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology can be contacted at: Springer, 233 Spring St, New York, NY 10013, USA. (Springer -; Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology -

The news editors report that additional information may be obtained by contacting K.T. Tran, Pennsylvania State University, Dept. of Chem Engn, University Park, PA 16802, United States. Additional authors for this research include T. Maeda and T.K. Wood (see also Hydrogen).

Keywords for this news article include: Gases, Elements, Glycerol, Pennsylvania, United States, Dehydrogenase, Sugar Alcohols, University Park, Escherichia coli, Enterobacteriaceae, Inorganic Chemicals, Enzymes and Coenzymes, Metabolic Engineering, Gram-Negative Bacteria, North and Central America

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Source: Biotech Week

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