Rice: Unconventional Wisdom
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Metabolic Engineering and Synthetic & Systems Biology Laboratory

Current Projects

Metabolism of 5- and 6- Sugar Mixtures in E. Coli



Understanding the Microbial Utilization of Glycerol under Fermentative Conditions

The rising concerns related to the cost, sustained availability, and environmental impact of use of fossil fuels has led to the search for new technologies that generate fuels and materials from renewable carbon sources.  Although biofuels such as biodiesel and bioethanol represent a secure, renewable, and environmentally safe alternative to fossil fuels, their economic viability is a major concern.  [Read More]




Metabolism of 5- and 6- Sugar Mixtures in E. Coli

Metabolism of 5- and 6-C Sugar Mixtures in E. coli

The sugar platform is based on extracting sugars from plant biomass and using them as substrates (feedstocks) for the production of fuels and chemicals, predominantly via fermentation processes. Our efforts in this area concentrate on the understanding and engineering of E. coli sugar-utilization regulatory systems for the consumption of plant biomass sugars. [Read More]




Microbial Platforms for the Production of Chemicals and Fuels from Glycerol

The oil platform is one of the main three platforms envisioned for the production of biofuels. Its goal is to first extract the oil portion of an oil-accumulating plant (e.g., soybean or rapeseed) and then either use this oil to produce biodiesel (a mixture of fatty acid methyl esters) or process it into bio-distillates via conventional refinery technology. [Read More]





Fermentative Metabolism of Pyruvate

Pyruvate is a key precursor metabolite for the biosynthesis of building blocks under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. It gives, upon dissimilation, acetyl-CoA, which is also an important biosynthetic precursor metabolite. Under anaerobic conditions and in the absence of external electron acceptors, pyruvate is also the most prominent intermediate metabolite for the synthesis of most fermentative products, including lactate, formate, ethanol, acetate, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen. [Read More]