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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: PROCESS TECHNOLOGIES FOR PRODUCING BIOFUELS AND COPRODUCTS FROM LIGNOCELLULOSIC FEEDSTOCKS

Location: Bioenergy Research Unit

Title: Chemotaxis to furan compounds by furan-degrading Pseudomonas strains

Authors
item Nichols, Nancy
item Lunde, Tristan -
item Graden, Kevin -
item Hallock, Kate -
item Kowalchyk, Cara -
item Southern, Rebecca -
item Soskin, Ellen -
item Ditty, Jayna -

Submitted to: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 14, 2012
Publication Date: June 22, 2012
Citation: Nichols, N.N., Lunde, T.A., Graden, K.C., Hallock, K.A., Kowalchyk, C.K., Southern, R.M., Soskin, E.J., Ditty, J.L. 2012. Chemotaxis to furan compounds by furan-degrading Pseudomonas strains. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 78:6365-6368.

Interpretive Summary: Furan compounds are undesirable in biofuels production, forming when sugars are degraded by heat and acid and increasing production time and cost. Furans also occur naturally in the environment, and have industrial use as solvents and chemical building blocks. Under some conditions, furans can act as a food source for microbes. In this research, we discovered that some bacteria exhibit chemotaxis to furans. (Chemotaxis is a behavior shown by bacteria, in which they detect and migrate to food sources in their environment.) Our discovery of furan chemotaxis provides the basic framework for understanding how bacteria detect and metabolize furans. This understanding of furan metabolism may contribute to other research efforts to make furan building blocks, or to degrade furans present in biofuel production.

Technical Abstract: Two Pseudomonas strains known to utilize furan derivatives were shown to be attracted to furfural, 5-hydroxymethylfurfural, furfuryl alcohol, and 2-furoic acid in the absence of furan metabolism. In addition, a LysR-family regulatory protein known to regulate furan metabolic genes was found to be involved in regulating the chemotactic response.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
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