The story of our E.coil

When Clark Kent turns into superman, the E.coli grows into the E.COIL!

Here is the story:

Long time ago, Clark Kent grew in the farm. While this summer, our E.coil grows in the LB. What is the difference between our E.coil and normal E.coli? Well, E.coil is super-E.coli! He has the power to produce much more fatty acids than his normal peers. How can that happen? After he “swallows” a plasmid containing all the special genes, he obtains the super power. On this magical plasmid, there are thioesterase, desaturases, fluorescence system and so on.

Thioesterase and fatty acid desaturase are key enzymes for free fatty acid (FFA) synthesis and unsaturated fatty acid production, respectively. They are both extensively spread in animals, plants and microorganisms. This time, we “borrow” the thioesterases from Umbellularia californica and Arabidopsis thaliana, use them to build this magical plasmid and equip our super-E.coli. Also, E.coli contributes to offering its own desaturase to the plasmid.

Besides that, our E.coil can produce the exact fatty acids we want. And this amazing power comes from different operon structures which regulate the expressions of corresponding thioesterases and desaturases. Thanks for them, we manage to produce various fatty acids in a controlled manner.

Considering the strong power our super-E.coli processes, we do want to monitor its fatty acid producing progress. In this case, we design a fluorescence system composed of Transcriptional Regulatory Protein FadR to detect the concentration of fatty acids in the whole system.

In a word, by the ways listed above, we accomplish the switch between production of different kinds of fatty acids by applying different signals to operons, and we can obtain the real time production status of E.coli by fluorescence report.

E.coil: Our responsibility to save the world!

With great power comes great responsibility. E.coil has the responsibility to produce fatty acids and save the world!

Since the mankind found the oil, our life has changed a lot. For example, we can fly in the sky like superman and we can move really heavy things just like superman. In short, oil is the essential chemical for multiple uses.

Q: Now that the oil is rather important, why we need fatty acid? I mean, why not sugar? What is Fatty acid?

A: Fatty acid = Oil!

Fatty acids with different carbon chain length and saturation levels can be widely applied to industry, food, medicine and many other aspects. Most importantly, it is a very promising feedstock for the production of eco-friendly biodiesel. And this could be the potential power source to compensate for dwindling fossil energy.

Relied on animal grease or plant oil currently, however, the processes of FFA production are restricted by seasonal, regional and many other factors. Besides that, the cost of producing is so high that it cannot be intensively industrialized. Given that, our super-E.coli emerges at this significant moment and take its obligation to save our world from energy crisis.