Dataset Information


Redirection of metabolism for biological hydrogen production

ABSTRACT: Photosynthetic microbes can produce the clean-burning fuel hydrogen using one of nature’s most plentiful resources, sunlight 1,2. Anoxygenic photosynthetic bacteria generate hydrogen and ammonia during a process known as biological nitrogen fixation. This reaction is catalyzed by the enzyme nitrogenase and consumes nitrogen gas, ATP and electrons 3. One bacterium, Rhodopseudomonas palustris, has a remarkable ability to obtain electrons from green plant-derived material 4,5 and to efficiently absorb both high and low intensity light energy to form ATP 6. Manipulating R. palustris or a similar organism to produce hydrogen commercially will require us to identify all its genes that contribute to hydrogen production and to understand how this process is regulated in cells. Here we describe mutant strains in which metabolism is redirected such that hydrogen production is uncoupled from nitrogen fixation. Our data indicate that three different single amino acid changes in the transcriptional regulator NifA each yielded strains that produced hydrogen even in the presence of the repressing nitrogen source ammonium and in the absence of specific inducing metabolic signals. We used the mutants to show that, in addition to nitrogenase genes, 18 genes outside of the nitrogenase gene cluster may contribute to hydrogen production. Some of these genes are likely involved in efficient ATP acquisition and in channeling electrons to nitrogenase for reduction of protons to molecular hydrogen. Our results demonstrate that photosynthetic bacteria can be genetically manipulated for sustained production of pure hydrogen in a variety of cultivation conditions in the absence of oxygen, nitrogen or other gases as long as light and an electron donor are supplied. Transcriptome profile of wild type (CGA009) growing photosynthetically in the presence of amonium an acetate was compare with that of 4 different mutants (CGA570, CGA571, CGA572 and CGA574). We did 2 biological replicates per strain.

ORGANISM(S): Rhodopseudomonas palustris  

SUBMITTER: Caroline S Harwood   Federico E Rey   Erin K Heiniger  Yasuhiro Oda 

PROVIDER: E-GEOD-5194 | ArrayExpress | 2010-06-10



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Redirection of metabolism for biological hydrogen production.

Rey Federico E FE   Heiniger Erin K EK   Harwood Caroline S CS  

Applied and environmental microbiology 20070112 5

A major route for hydrogen production by purple photosynthetic bacteria is biological nitrogen fixation. Nitrogenases reduce atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia with the concomitant obligate production of molecular hydrogen. However, hydrogen production in the context of nitrogen fixation is a rather inefficient process because about 75% of the reductant consumed by the nitrogenase is used to generate ammonia. In this study we describe a selection strategy to isolate strains of purple photosynthetic  ...[more]

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