Houston, TX 77005
3:30 p.m. Thursday, March 21, 2013
On Campus | Alumni
This study proposes simulations, which present optimized methods for producing fatty acids, fatty alcohols and alkanes using Zymomonas mobilis bacterium by the energy efficient ?-oxidation reversal pathway, an eco-friendly alternative to the present petroleum based processes. Zymomonas has advantages of higher carbon intake, higher ethanol tolerance and higher ethanol production efficiency than other organisms. I have improved the Zymomonas genome scale model developed by Lee et al. and used COBRA (Constraint Based Reconstruction and Analysis), a linear optimization based computational tool in Matlab, to perform FBA (Flux balance analysis) based simulations. FBA accounts for formation, consumption, accumulation and removal rate or flux of each metabolite. The results present a solution space of cell growth rate and product formation rate, which trend with products and their carbon chain length. I have analyzed these solution space trends gaining insight into the Zymomonas’ metabolism, enabling efficient product formation and opening way for future improvement.