Sugar synthesis from CO2 in Escherichia coli

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).

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