S188 A new platform for contamination-resistant biorefining: engineering extreme alkaliphile Bacillus marmarensis for unsterilized fermentation in wastewater
Thursday, July 28, 2016: 5:00 PM
Bayside A, 4th Fl (Sheraton New Orleans)
D.G. Wernick*, S.P. Pontrelli, A.W. Pollock and J. Liao, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

Water usage, contamination susceptibility, and the inability to co-utilize pentoses and disaccharides are some major challenges to industrialization of stable biorefining in lieu of fossil resource consumption. We have built tools for and engineered the unexplored, extreme alkaliphile Bacillus marmarensis as a platform for new bioprocesses which meet all these challenges. With development of a transformation technique, a genetic overexpression system, and RNA knockdown strategies, we engineered B. marmarensis to produce ethanol at 40 g/l titers at 65% the theoretical maximum yield in unsterilized glucose medium. To transition towards industrial substrates and conditions, we next adjusted fermentation conditions to produce ethanol titers of 12 g/l at a 50% yield from xylose and cellobiose mixtures in unsterilized seawater and algal-contaminated wastewater media. B. marmarensis presents a promising approach for the contamination-resistant biorefining of a wide range of carbohydrates in unsterilized, non-potable seawater from this initial investigation.