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Biochemistry Seminar – Dr. Kathryn Fixen: “”Fix”ing to make fuel: controlling electron transfer to nitrogenase to make energy-rich compounds”
September 4 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Dr. Kathryn Fixen
Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
University of Minnesota
Title:”“Fix”ing to make fuel: controlling electron transfer to nitrogenase to make energy-rich compounds”
Bacteria are promising biocatalysts for the production of biofuels and bioproducts because they can tap into sources of energy that we are still struggling to use (e.g. plant biomass, sunlight, and waste streams), and the ATP and electrons generated from metabolizing these sources can power pathways that produce energy-rich compounds. Anaerobic bacteria, in particular, have evolved diverse ways of managing electron flow to metabolic pathways that often naturally result in the release of compounds like butanol, ethanol, methane, hydrogen, etc. In the Fixen lab, we are working to understand intracellular electron flow in the anoxygenic phototroph, Rhodopseudomonas palustris, by characterizing components of electron transfer and how they are regulated by environmental factors such as iron and light availability. By understanding how R. palustris controls electron flow, we hope to find new ways to divert more electrons down pathways that generate energy-rich compounds.
Host: Jennifer Herman
Location: 108 Biochemistry Building (Bldg#1507)