Nazar Akhverdyan Rose Hills
Synthetic Biology Approach to Drive Oxygen-Dependent Biochemical Pathways Under Anaerobic Conditions
Hydrocarbon contamination can be extremely detrimental to affected ecosystems and bioremediation, the use of microorganisms to detoxify and remove environmental pollutants, presents an effective solution. Specifically, oxygenases are required to perform hydroxylation or carboxylation reactions that cleave aromatic rings into less inert intermediates. Oxygen is an essential co-substrate for many aromatic hydrocarbon degradation pathways. However, bioremediation of aromatic hydrocarbons is often constrained by limited oxygen levels, which can be attributed to oxygens low solubility and rapid depletion during cellular respiration. Bioreactor-mediated hydrocarbon degradation similarly faces oxygen limitation issues, and solutions like increasing the bioreactors retention time or continuously pumping in pure oxygen are extremely costly and inefficient. My project aims to synthetically develop recombinant organisms that can drive naturally oxygen-dependent biochemical pathways under anaerobic conditions.