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Title: A technique for lyopreservation of Clostridium ljungdahlii in a biocomposite matrix for CO absorption

Abstract

A system capable of biocatalytic conversion of distributed sources of single carbon gases such as carbon monoxide into hydrocarbons can be highly beneficial for developing commercially viable biotechnology applications in alternative energy. Several anaerobic bacterial strains can be used for such conversion. The anaerobic carbon monoxide-fixing bacteria Clostridium ljungdahlii OTA1 is a model CO assimilating microorganism that currently requires cryogenic temperature for storage of the viable strains. If these organisms can be stabilized and concentrated in thin films in advanced porous materials, it will enable development of high gas fraction, biocomposite absorbers with elevated carbon monoxide (CO) mass transfer rate, that require minimal power input and liquid, and demonstrate elevated substrate consumption rate compared to conventional suspended cell bioreactors. We report development of a technique for dry-stabilization of C. ljungdahlii OTA1 on a paper biocomposite. Bacterial samples coated onto paper were desiccated in the presence of trehalose using convective drying and stored at 4°C. Optimal dryness was ~1g H 2O per gram of dry weight (g DW). CO uptake directly following biocomposite rehydration steadily increases over time indicating immediate cellular metabolic recovery. A high-resolution Raman microspectroscopic hyperspectral imaging technique was employed to spatially quantify the residual moisture content. We havemore » demonstrated for the first time that convectively dried and stored C. ljungdahlii strains were stabilized in a desiccated state for over 38 days without a loss in CO absorbing reactivity. The Raman hyperspectral imaging technique described here is a non-invasive characterization tool to support development of dry-stabilization techniques for microorganisms on inexpensive porous support materials. In conclusion, the present study successfully extends and implements the principles of dry-stabilization for preservation of strictly anaerobic bacteria as an alternative to lyophilization or spray drying that could enable centralized biocomposite biocatalyst fabrication and decentralized bioprocessing of CO to liquid fuels or chemicals.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [2];  [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [4]
  1. North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States)
  2. Univ. of Michigan Dearborn, Dearborn, MI (United States)
  3. Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN (United States); Univ. of Michigan Dearborn, Dearborn, MI (United States)
  4. The Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Univ. of Michigan, Dearborn, MI (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1367938
Grant/Contract Number:
EE0006877; SusChEM 1510072; CHE 1609440; T32 GM008776-11; U038726; U046888
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
PLoS ONE
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 12; Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 1932-6203
Publisher:
Public Library of Science
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; anaerobic bacteria; trehalose; coatings; specimen storage; biocatalysis; gases; argon; clostridium

Citation Formats

Schulte, Mark J., Solocinski, Jason, Wang, Mian, Kovacs, Michelle, Kilgore, Ryan, Osgood, Quinn, Underwood, Lukas, Flickinger, Michael C., Chakraborty, Nilay, and He, Xiaoming. A technique for lyopreservation of Clostridium ljungdahlii in a biocomposite matrix for CO absorption. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0180806.
Schulte, Mark J., Solocinski, Jason, Wang, Mian, Kovacs, Michelle, Kilgore, Ryan, Osgood, Quinn, Underwood, Lukas, Flickinger, Michael C., Chakraborty, Nilay, & He, Xiaoming. A technique for lyopreservation of Clostridium ljungdahlii in a biocomposite matrix for CO absorption. United States. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0180806.
Schulte, Mark J., Solocinski, Jason, Wang, Mian, Kovacs, Michelle, Kilgore, Ryan, Osgood, Quinn, Underwood, Lukas, Flickinger, Michael C., Chakraborty, Nilay, and He, Xiaoming. 2017. "A technique for lyopreservation of Clostridium ljungdahlii in a biocomposite matrix for CO absorption". United States. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0180806.
@article{osti_1367938,
title = {A technique for lyopreservation of Clostridium ljungdahlii in a biocomposite matrix for CO absorption},
author = {Schulte, Mark J. and Solocinski, Jason and Wang, Mian and Kovacs, Michelle and Kilgore, Ryan and Osgood, Quinn and Underwood, Lukas and Flickinger, Michael C. and Chakraborty, Nilay and He, Xiaoming},
abstractNote = {A system capable of biocatalytic conversion of distributed sources of single carbon gases such as carbon monoxide into hydrocarbons can be highly beneficial for developing commercially viable biotechnology applications in alternative energy. Several anaerobic bacterial strains can be used for such conversion. The anaerobic carbon monoxide-fixing bacteria Clostridium ljungdahlii OTA1 is a model CO assimilating microorganism that currently requires cryogenic temperature for storage of the viable strains. If these organisms can be stabilized and concentrated in thin films in advanced porous materials, it will enable development of high gas fraction, biocomposite absorbers with elevated carbon monoxide (CO) mass transfer rate, that require minimal power input and liquid, and demonstrate elevated substrate consumption rate compared to conventional suspended cell bioreactors. We report development of a technique for dry-stabilization of C. ljungdahlii OTA1 on a paper biocomposite. Bacterial samples coated onto paper were desiccated in the presence of trehalose using convective drying and stored at 4°C. Optimal dryness was ~1g H2O per gram of dry weight (gDW). CO uptake directly following biocomposite rehydration steadily increases over time indicating immediate cellular metabolic recovery. A high-resolution Raman microspectroscopic hyperspectral imaging technique was employed to spatially quantify the residual moisture content. We have demonstrated for the first time that convectively dried and stored C. ljungdahlii strains were stabilized in a desiccated state for over 38 days without a loss in CO absorbing reactivity. The Raman hyperspectral imaging technique described here is a non-invasive characterization tool to support development of dry-stabilization techniques for microorganisms on inexpensive porous support materials. In conclusion, the present study successfully extends and implements the principles of dry-stabilization for preservation of strictly anaerobic bacteria as an alternative to lyophilization or spray drying that could enable centralized biocomposite biocatalyst fabrication and decentralized bioprocessing of CO to liquid fuels or chemicals.},
doi = {10.1371/journal.pone.0180806},
journal = {PLoS ONE},
number = 7,
volume = 12,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month = 7
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.1371/journal.pone.0180806

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  • A system capable of biocatalytic conversion of distributed sources of single carbon gases such as carbon monoxide into hydrocarbons can be highly beneficial for developing commercially viable biotechnology applications in alternative energy. Several anaerobic bacterial strains can be used for such conversion. The anaerobic carbon monoxide-fixing bacteria Clostridium ljungdahlii OTA1 is a model CO assimilating microorganism that currently requires cryogenic temperature for storage of the viable strains. If these organisms can be stabilized and concentrated in thin films in advanced porous materials, it will enable development of high gas fraction, biocomposite absorbers with elevated carbon monoxide (CO) mass transfer rate,more » that require minimal power input and liquid, and demonstrate elevated substrate consumption rate compared to conventional suspended cell bioreactors. We report development of a technique for dry-stabilization of C. ljungdahlii OTA1 on a paper biocomposite. Bacterial samples coated onto paper were desiccated in the presence of trehalose using convective drying and stored at 4°C. Optimal dryness was ~1g H 2O per gram of dry weight (g DW). CO uptake directly following biocomposite rehydration steadily increases over time indicating immediate cellular metabolic recovery. A high-resolution Raman microspectroscopic hyperspectral imaging technique was employed to spatially quantify the residual moisture content. We have demonstrated for the first time that convectively dried and stored C. ljungdahlii strains were stabilized in a desiccated state for over 38 days without a loss in CO absorbing reactivity. The Raman hyperspectral imaging technique described here is a non-invasive characterization tool to support development of dry-stabilization techniques for microorganisms on inexpensive porous support materials. In conclusion, the present study successfully extends and implements the principles of dry-stabilization for preservation of strictly anaerobic bacteria as an alternative to lyophilization or spray drying that could enable centralized biocomposite biocatalyst fabrication and decentralized bioprocessing of CO to liquid fuels or chemicals.« less
  • Methods for genetic manipulation of Clostridium ljungdahlii are of interest because of the potential for production of fuels and other biocommodities from carbon dioxide via microbial electrosynthesis or more traditional modes of autotrophy with hydrogen or carbon monoxide as the electron donor. Furthermore, acetogenesis plays an important role in the global carbon cycle. Gene deletion strategies required for physiological studies of C. ljungdahlii have not previously been demonstrated. An electroporation procedure for introducing plasmids was optimized, and four different replicative origins for plasmid propagation in C. ljungdahlii were identified. Chromosomal gene deletion via double-crossover homologous recombination with a suicide vectormore » was demonstrated initially with deletion of the gene for FliA, a putative sigma factor involved in flagellar biogenesis and motility in C. ljungdahlii. Deletion of fliA yielded a strain that lacked flagella and was not motile. To evaluate the potential utility of gene deletions for functional genomic studies and to redirect carbon and electron flow, the genes for the putative bifunctional aldehyde/alcohol dehydrogenases, adhE1 and adhE2, were deleted individually or together. Deletion of adhE1, but not adhE2, diminished ethanol production with a corresponding carbon recovery in acetate. The double deletion mutant had a phenotype similar to that of the adhE1-deficient strain. Expression of adhE1 in trans partially restored the capacity for ethanol production. These results demonstrate the feasibility of genetic investigations of acetogen physiology and the potential for genetic manipulation of C. ljungdahlii to optimize autotrophic biocommodity production.« less
  • The development of tools for genetic manipulation of Clostridium ljungdahlii has increased its attractiveness as a chassis for autotrophic production of organic commodities and biofuels from syngas and microbial electrosynthesis and established it as a model organism for the study of the basic physiology of acetogenesis. In an attempt to expand the genetic toolbox for C. ljungdahlii, the possibility of adapting a lactose-inducible system for gene expression, previously reported for Clostridium perfringens, was investigated. The plasmid pAH2, originally developed for C. perfringens with a gusA reporter gene, functioned as an effective lactose-inducible system in C. ljungdahlii. Lactose induction of C.more » ljungdahlii containing pB1, in which the gene for the aldehyde/alcohol dehydrogenase AdhE1 was downstream of the lactose-inducible promoter, increased expression of adhE1 30-fold over the wild-type level, increasing ethanol production 1.5-fold, with a corresponding decrease in acetate production. Lactose-inducible expression of adhE1 in a strain in which adhE1 and the adhE1 homolog adhE2 had been deleted from the chromosome restored ethanol production to levels comparable to those in the wild-type strain. Inducing expression of adhE2 similarly failed to restore ethanol production, suggesting that adhE1 is the homolog responsible for ethanol production. Lactose-inducible expression of the four heterologous genes necessary to convert acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) to acetone diverted ca. 60% of carbon flow to acetone production during growth on fructose, and 25% of carbon flow went to acetone when carbon monoxide was the electron donor. These studies demonstrate that the lactose-inducible system described here will be useful for redirecting carbon and electron flow for the biosynthesis of products more valuable than acetate. Furthermore, this tool should aid in optimizing microbial electrosynthesis and for basic studies on the physiology of acetogenesis.« less
  • It has been predicted that the Rnf complex of Clostridium ljungdahlii is a proton-translocating ferredoxin: NAD(+) oxidoreductase which contributes to ATP synthesis by an H+-translocating ATPase under both autotrophic and heterotrophic growth conditions. The recent development of methods for genetic manipulation of C. ljungdahlii made it possible to evaluate the possible role of the Rnf complex in energy conservation. Disruption of the C. ljungdahlii rnf operon inhibited autotrophic growth. ATP synthesis, proton gradient, membrane potential, and proton motive force collapsed in the Rnf-deficient mutant with H-2 as the electron source and CO2 as the electron acceptor. Heterotrophic growth was hinderedmore » in the absence of a functional Rnf complex, as ATP synthesis, proton gradient, and proton motive force were significantly reduced with fructose as the electron donor. Growth of the Rnf-deficient mutant was also inhibited when no source of fixed nitrogen was provided. These results demonstrate that the Rnf complex of C. ljungdahlii is responsible for translocation of protons across the membrane to elicit energy conservation during acetogenesis and is a multifunctional device also implicated in nitrogen fixation. IMPORTANCE Mechanisms for energy conservation in the acetogen Clostridium ljungdahlii are of interest because of its potential value as a chassis for the production of biocommodities with novel electron donors such as carbon monoxide, syngas, and electrons derived from electrodes. Characterizing the components implicated in the chemiosmotic ATP synthesis during acetogenesis by C. ljungdahlii is a prerequisite for the development of highly productive strains. The Rnf complex has been considered the prime candidate to be the pump responsible for the formation of an ion gradient coupled with ATP synthesis in multiple acetogens. However, experimental evidence for a proton-pumping Rnf complex has been lacking. This study establishes the C. ljungdahlii Rnf complex as a proton-translocating ferredoxin: NAD(+) oxidoreductase and demonstrates that C. ljungdahlii has the potential of becoming a model organism to study proton translocation, electron transport, and other functions of the Rnf complex in energy conservation or other processes.« less
  • Microbial conversion of carbon dioxide to organic commodities via syngas metabolism or microbial electrosynthesis is an attractive option for production of renewable biocommodities. The recent development of an initial genetic toolbox for the acetogen Clostridium ljungdahlii has suggested that C. ljungdahlii may be an effective chassis for such conversions. This possibility was evaluated by engineering a strain to produce butyrate, a valuable commodity that is not a natural product of C. ljungdahlii metabolism. Heterologous genes required for butyrate production from acetyl-coenzyme A (CoA) were identified and introduced initially on plasmids and in subsequent strain designs integrated into the C. ljungdahliimore » chromosome. Iterative strain designs involved increasing translation of a key enzyme by modifying a ribosome binding site, inactivating the gene encoding the first step in the conversion of acetyl-CoA to acetate, disrupting the gene which encodes the primary bifunctional aldehyde/alcohol dehydrogenase for ethanol production, and interrupting the gene for a CoA transferase that potentially represented an alternative route for the production of acetate. These modifications yielded a strain in which ca. 50 or 70% of the carbon and electron flow was diverted to the production of butyrate with H-2 or CO as the electron donor, respectively. These results demonstrate the possibility of producing high-value commodities from carbon dioxide with C. ljungdahlii as the catalyst. IMPORTANCE The development of a microbial chassis for efficient conversion of carbon dioxide directly to desired organic products would greatly advance the environmentally sustainable production of biofuels and other commodities. Clostridium ljungdahlii is an effective catalyst for microbial electrosynthesis, a technology in which electricity generated with renewable technologies, such as solar or wind, powers the conversion of carbon dioxide and water to organic products. Other electron donors for C. ljungdahlii include carbon monoxide, which can be derived from industrial waste gases or the conversion of recalcitrant biomass to syngas, as well as hydrogen, another syngas component. The finding that carbon and electron flow in C. ljungdahlii can be diverted from the production of acetate to butyrate synthesis is an important step toward the goal of renewable commodity production from carbon dioxide with this organism.« less