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Improved xylose and arabinose utilization by an industrial recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain using evolutionary engineering

Rosa Garcia Sanchez, Kaisa Karhumaa, César Fonseca, Violeta Sànchez Nogué, João RM Almeida, Christer U Larsson, Oskar Bengtsson, Maurizio Bettiga, Bärbel Hahn-Hägerdal and Marie F Gorwa-Grauslund*

Biotechnology for Biofuels 2010, 3:13  doi:10.1186/1754-6834-3-13

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Ethanol from Coconut Oil waste

Gary Patterson   (2011-01-10 16:07)  College of the Marshall Islands email

As I read with fascination the work being done to produce bioengineered strains of S.cerevisiae that can breakdown the sugars in plant waste, the following idea suddenly occurred to me:
The Marshall Islands, where I am living and working, is one of many small island nations in the central Pacific in desperate need of a self-sustaining economy, if not a market economy, for it's 50K plus citizens. It relies entirely on imported fuel to run the diesel-powered electric generators and its (too) many cars. Could a yeast strain be evolutionarily engineered to produce ethanol from the left-over plant material after coconut oil (which is exported from the RMI) is extracted so as to at least reduce if not eventually stop the importation of petroleum and convert to the sole use of ethanol, much like Brazil?

If anyone reading this is interested in helping this country, through either providing me with the necessary training to begin collaboratively working on such a project or doing it themselves, I would be happy to communicate with you. My Master's committee chair was an environmental microbiologist and I developed an affinity for the potential of microbes to assist man in his quest to improve the world in which he lives. As part of a course in Applied Microbiology, I researched the process of making soy sauce. However, I envision a much greater need for this technology-to assist this nation to stand up and be counted as a nation committed to reducing its own global footprint by eventually eliminating the need for imported fuel! It may be just a pipe dream but, pipe dreams can become reality if even one person is willing to do something!

Please contact me if this type of project is worthy of consideration. I am not suggesting this as a way to gain notoriety or recognition for myself; my only desire is to help facilitate the process, if I can.

Competing interests

None declared

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