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Researchers engineer resistance to ionic liquids in microbes used for cellulosic biofuels production [Registered]

Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), a multi-institutional partnership led by Berkeley Lab, have identified the genetic origins of a microbial resistance to ionic liquids and successfully introduced this resistance into a strain of E. coli bacteria for the production of cellulosic biofuels. The ionic liquid resistance is based on a pair of genes discovered in a bacterium native to a tropical rainforest in Puerto Rico. Findings are presented in Nature Communications. “We identified two genes in Enterobacter lignolyticus, a soil bacterium that is tolerant to imidazolium-based ionic liquids, and transferred them as part…

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