This Volume presents protocols for systems and synthetic biology applications in the field of hydrocarbon and lipid microbiology. It complements another Volume that describes generic protocols for wet experimental and computer-based systems and synthetic biology studies. The protocols in this Volume demonstrate how to employ systems and synthetic biology approaches in the design of microbes for the production of esters, isoprenoids, hydrophobic polymers, rhamnolipid biosurfactant, and peptide antimicrobial and thioether-stabilised molecules. Also presented is a protocol for the engineering of transcription factor-based biosensors for intracellular products, and another for the creation of a synthetic hydroxylase with novel activity for the selective oxyfunctionalisation of linear alkanes.
Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology Protocols
There are tens of thousands of structurally different hydrocarbons, hydrocarbon derivatives and lipids, and a wide array of these molecules are required for cells to function. The global hydrocarbon cycle, which is largely driven by microorganisms, has a major impact on our environment and climate. Microbes are responsible for cleaning up the environmental pollution caused by the exploitation of hydrocarbon reservoirs and will also be pivotal in reducing our reliance on fossil fuels by providing biofuels, plastics and industrial chemicals. Gaining an understanding of the relevant functions of the wide range of microbes that produce, consume and modify hydrocarbons and related compounds will be key to responding to these challenges. This comprehensive collection of current and emerging protocols will facilitate acquisition of this understanding and exploitation of useful activities of such microbes.