Sugar Synthesis from CO2 in Escherichia coli

Niv Antonovsky, Shmuel Gleizer, Elad Noor, Yehudit Zohar, Elad Herz, Uri Barenholz, Lior Zelcbuch, Shira Amram, Aryeh Wides, Naama Tepper, Dan Davidi, Yinon Bar-On, Tasneem Bareia, David G Wernick, Ido Shani, Sergey Malitsky, Ghil Jona, Arren Bar-Even, Ron Milo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

185 Scopus citations


Can a heterotrophic organism be evolved to synthesize biomass from CO2 directly? So far, non-native carbon fixation in which biomass precursors are synthesized solely from CO2 has remained an elusive grand challenge. Here, we demonstrate how a combination of rational metabolic rewiring, recombinant expression, and laboratory evolution has led to the biosynthesis of sugars and other major biomass constituents by a fully functional Calvin-Benson-Bassham (CBB) cycle in E. coli. In the evolved bacteria, carbon fixation is performed via a non-native CBB cycle, while reducing power and energy are obtained by oxidizing a supplied organic compound (e.g., pyruvate). Genome sequencing reveals that mutations in flux branchpoints, connecting the non-native CBB cycle to biosynthetic pathways, are essential for this phenotype. The successful evolution of a non-native carbon fixation pathway, though not yet resulting in net carbon gain, strikingly demonstrates the capacity for rapid trophic-mode evolution of metabolism applicable to biotechnology. PaperClip

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-125
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - 30 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Sugar Synthesis from CO2 in Escherichia coli'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this