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Azotobacter vinelandii as bio-factories for producing hydrogen

15th National Programme for the allocation of Research Grants for Life and Matter Sciences


Senior Researcher : Juan Imperial Ródenas

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Research Centre or Institution : Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid


Biological systems produce hydrogen through specific metalloenzymes called hydrogenases. Hydrogen biomanufacturing is a primitive characteristic that emerged in anaerobic atmospheres, and the activity and integrity of hydrogenases are sensitive to the presence of oxygen, thus hindering their use for hydrogen production. Azotobacter vinelandii is a strict aerobic bacterium that has developed molecular adaptations that allow it to be expressed in anaerobic biochemical systems, such as nitrogen fixation, in the presence of air. The main goal of this project is to use bacteria as a host for heterologous aerobic expression of the hydrogen-producing hydrogenases most commonly used for hydrogen bioproduction (Chlamydomonas, Clostridium etc.), and as a model for further improvement or modification of such systems.

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