This summer our goal is to develop a Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 strain that is capable of producing long chain alkanes. This entails synthesizing a new plasmid (FAS Operon) with the fastest bacterial components to design a new fatty acid synthesis pathway that will function to increase the production rate of long chain fatty acids. We will also be designing a plasmid (Alk Operon) that will use a light driven decarboxylase which is activated under blue light and the V. fischeri LuX operon which emits light at a wavelength of 490 nm to convert free fatty acids into Long Chain Alkanes. Lastly, part of the experiment will also use ChIP-seq to analyze Par-B interaction with the DNA. With the successful FLAG construct, Ch-IP procedure will be carried out and the DNA will be submitted to a library for NextSeq 5000 and sequence analysis.
Despite diminishing supplies, petroleum and other non-renewable energy sources remain a major component of the energy production process. Alternative energies such as wind and solar, despite recent improvements, are still burdened with extreme highly costs to implement and lack of integrability into current infrastructure. Biofuels serve as a possible intermediate until further reductions in the costs of alternative energies but is currently limited by batch production of chemicals; conversion to a continuous synthesis process remains a current challenge. Additionally, developing blends of alkanes for particular applications, such as jet fuel, remain a prohibitive limiter of biofuel economic viability. Our project seeks to overcome this by producing one of the main chemical substituent of jet fuel in order to produce a more sustainable and economical form of jet fuel.