Konstantinos Drousiotis

Teaching bacteria to eat grass: genetic engineering of Escherichia coli for complete degradation and utilisation of Miscanthus hemicellulose

I graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2013 with a First class MBiol degree in Biology.

Project Description:

The rising costs associated with fossil fuels and growing environmental concerns have pushed the global demand for biofuels. The present PhD is part of the HUB (hemicellulose-utilising bacteria) network. The HUB network is a collaboration of three PhDs (Corrine Shaw, Leeds/ Callum Pattrick, Sheffield) which aim to adopt a Synthetic Biology approach in designing and engineering an Escherichia coli strain to make it capable of fully degrading Miscanthus xylan. The current PhD will employ a comparative genomics strategy to identify bacterial transporters specific in importing the monosaccharides present in Miscanthusxylan. The binding affinities of the natural substrates of the identified transporters and their transport efficiency will be experimentally elucidated by structural and mutational methods.