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What is BASSET?
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BASSET aims to engineer E. coli to produce biofuel (short-chained alkanes) in a microbial electrosynthesis (MES) system.
The engineered organism will accept electrons from an external source (for example, off-peak excess of solar energy) to produce reducing equivalents such as NADH or NADPH in the cell. This functionality will be gained by heterologous expression of the MtrCAB pathway and the CymA cytochrome from Shewanella oneidensis, as well as phenazines (secreted extracellular electron shuttles) produced by the PhzA-H machinery from Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Overexpression of the endogenous cytochrome maturation gene, ccmA-H will also assist in this MES system.
Our overall goal is to produce alkanes from fatty acyl-ACPs, using energy derived from the MES module. Heterologous expression of Cer1 (from Arabidopsis thaliana) and Acr (from Clostridium acetobutylicum), overexpression of the endogenous FadD and a mutant TesA, and deletion of endogenous FadE and FadR will hopefully create a pathway to achieve this goal.