CeBiTec Distinguished Lecture
Monday, November 26, 2018, 17 c.t.
Plenary Hall, ZiF building
Prof. Dr. Tobias Erb
Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology and Center for Synthetic Microbiology, Marburg, Germany
Fixing CO2-fixation: Building an artificial chloroplast drop-by-drop
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a potent greenhouse gas that is a critical factor in global warming. At the same time atmospheric CO2 is a cheap and ubiquitous carbon source. Yet, synthetic chemistry lacks suitable catalysts to functionalize atmospheric CO2, emphasizing the need to understand and exploit the CO2 fixation mechanisms offered by Nature. In my talk I will discuss the evolution and limitation of naturally existing CO2 fixing enzymes and pathways, such as the Calvin cycle and present strategies for the design and engineering of artificial CO2 fixation reactions and pathways. An example for such a synthetic CO2 fixation pathway is the CETCH cycle, which is an in vitro-reaction network of 17 enzymes that was established with enzymes originating from nine different organisms and optimized in several rounds by enzyme engineering and metabolic proofreading. I will also present current efforts in our laboratory that aim at coupling artificial CO2-fixation pathways with the photosynthetic machinery and transplanting them into natural and artificial cells to create minimal modules for the light-driven capture and conversion of inorganic carbon.
Host: Prof. Dr. Olaf Kruse