Metabolic Engineering of Methanotrophic Bacteria for Industrial Biomanufacturing

  • Calvin A. Henard
  • Michael T. GuarnieriEmail author


CH4 offers a promising, high-volume petroleum replacement for fuel and chemical bioprocesses. Recent advances in gas recovery technologies have facilitated access to previously inaccessible natural gas reserves, while biogas generated from anaerobic digestion of waste streams offers a versatile, renewable CH4 source. Importantly, CH4 is also the second most abundant greenhouse gas (GHG), with nearly 60% of emissions derived from anthropogenic sources. However, the gaseous state of CH4 makes for a lack of compatibility with current transportation and industrial manufacturing infrastructure, limiting its utilization as a transportation fuel and intermediate in biochemical processes. Resurgent interest in CH4 upgrading has pushed microbial conversion of CH4 to fuels and value-added chemicals to the forefront of industrial bioprocessing. CH4 bioconversion offers both CH4 valorization and GHG emission reduction potential and importantly offers a scalable, modular, and selective approach to CH4 utilization compared to conventional physical and chemical conversion strategies. However, as noted above, advances in CH4 biocatalysis have been constrained by limited genetic tractability of natural CH4-consuming microbes. In this chapter, we review recent advances in methanotrophic genetic and genomic tool development and metabolic engineering.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Bioenergy CenterNational Renewable Energy LaboratoryGoldenUSA

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