Nancy N Nichols

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Two new ethanologenic strains (FBR4 and FBR5) of Escherichia coli were constructed and used to ferment corn fiber hydrolysate. The strains carry the plasmid pLOI297, which contains the genes from Zymomonas mobilis necessary for efficiently converting pyruvate into ethanol. Both strains selectively maintained the plasmid when grown anaerobically. Each(More)
Acid pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass releases furan and phenolic compounds, which are toxic to microorganisms used for subsequent fermentation. In this study, we isolated new microorganisms for depletion of inhibitors in lignocellulosic acid hydrolysates. A sequential enrichment strategy was used to isolate microorganisms from soil. Selection was(More)
Engineering yeast to be more tolerant to fermentation inhibitors, furfural and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), will lead to more efficient lignocellulose to ethanol bioconversion. To identify target genes involved in furfural tolerance, a Saccharomyces cerevisiae gene disruption library was screened for mutants with growth deficiencies in the presence of(More)
PcaK is a transporter and chemoreceptor protein from Pseudomonas putida that is encoded as part of the beta-ketoadipate pathway regulon for aromatic acid degradation. When expressed in Escherichia coli, PcaK was localized to the membrane and catalyzed the accumulation of two aromatic substrates, 4-hydroxybenzoate and protocatechuate, against a concentration(More)
Pseudomonas putida converts benzoate to catechol using two enzymes that are encoded on the chromosome and whose expression is induced by benzoate. Benzoate also binds to the regulator XylS to induce expression of the TOL (toluene degradation) plasmid-encoded meta pathway operon for benzoate and methylbenzoate degradation. Finally, benzoate represses the(More)
Lignin is known to impede conversion of lignocellulose into ethanol. In this study, forage sorghum plants carrying brown midrib (bmr) mutations, which reduce lignin contents, were evaluated as bioenergy feedstocks. The near-isogenic lines evaluated were: wild type, bmr-6, bmr-12, and bmr-6 bmr-12 double mutant. The bmr-6 and bmr-12 mutations were equally(More)
Conversion of lignocellulose to lactic acid requires strains capable of fermenting sugar mixtures of glucose and xylose. Recombinant Escherichia coli strains were engineered to selectively produce L-lactic acid and then used to ferment sugar mixtures. Three of these strains were catabolite repression mutants (ptsG −) that have the ability to simultaneously(More)
The chromosomal benK gene was identified within a supraoperonic gene cluster involved in benzoate degradation by Acinetobacter sp. strain ADP1, and benK was expressed in response to a benzoate metabolite, cis,cis-muconate. The disruption of benK reduced benzoate uptake and impaired the use of benzoate or benzaldehyde as the carbon source. BenK was(More)
Recombinant Escherichia coli have been constructed for the conversion of glucose as well as pentose sugars into L-lactic acid. The strains carry the lactate dehydrogenase gene from Streptococcus bovis on a low copy number plasmid for production of L-lactate. Three E. coli strains were transformed with the plasmid for producing L-lactic acid. Strains FBR9(More)
Use of agricultural biomass, other than cornstarch, to produce fuel ethanol requires a microorganism that can ferment the mixture of sugars derived from hemicellulose. Escherichia coli metabolizes a wide range of substrates and has been engineered to produce ethanol in high yield from sugar mixtures. E. coli metabolizes glucose in preference to other sugars(More)