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Title: The in vivo hydrocarbon formation by vanadium nitrogenase follows a secondary metabolic pathway

The vanadium (V)-nitrogenase of Azotobacter vinelandii catalyses the in vitro conversion of carbon monoxide (CO) to hydrocarbons. Here we show that an A. vinelandii strain expressing the V-nitrogenase is capable of in vivo reduction of CO to ethylene (C 2H 4), ethane (C 2H 6) and propane (C 3H 8). Moreover, we demonstrate that CO is not used as a carbon source for cell growth, being instead reduced to hydrocarbons in a secondary metabolic pathway. These findings suggest a possible role of the ancient nitrogenase as an evolutionary link between the carbon and nitrogen cycles on Earth and establish a solid foundation for biotechnological adaptation of a whole-cell approach to recycling carbon wastes into hydrocarbon products. Furthermore, this study has several repercussions for evolution-, environment- and energy-related areas.
Authors:
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of California, Irvine, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
SC0014470
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Univ. of California, Irvine, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; bacteria; biocatalysis; metalloproteins
OSTI Identifier:
1364420