Systems and synthetic biology for the production of comodity chemicals

Metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli for the production of propionate. The target is to engineer the metabolic pathway known as the Wood Werkman from Propionibacteria into E. coli. The main goal of the research project is the development of a recombinant Escherichia coli strain able to produce the C3 carbon chemical propionic acid by engineering native metabolism with Propionibacteria’s Wood Werkman Cycle. Simultaneously, this metabolic pathway presents the potential to increase the acyl-CoA pool in E. coli (Propionyl-Coa and Methylmalonyl-CoA). 

Ricardo got his bachelor degree in Biotechnology Engineering and a masters degree in  Bioprocesses by the Instituto Politecnico Nacional (Mexico). In 2013,  he started a PhD aiming the use of Escherichia coli as a platform to produce propionate using metabolic engineering tools. Member of the AIChE and the Society for Biological Engineering. Recipient of the 2014 Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award. (First Prize). 

Key Publications

  1. Gonzalez-Garcia RA, McCubbin T, Wille A, Plan M, Nielsen LK, Marcellin E. Awakening sleeping beauty: production of propionic acid in Escherichia coli through the sbm operon requires the activity of a methylmalonyl-CoA epimerase. Microbial Cell Factories. 2017 Jul 17;16(1):121.
  2. Gonzalez-Garcia RA, McCubbin T, Navone L, Stowers C, Nielsen LK, Marcellin E. Microbial Propionic Acid Production. Fermentation. 2017 May 15;3(2):21.
  3. Gonzalez-Garcia RA, Aispuro-Castro R, Salgado-Manjarrez E, Aranda-Barradas J, Garcia-Peña EI. Metabolic pathway and flux analysis of H 2 production by an anaerobic mixed culture. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy. 2017 Feb 16;42(7):4069-82.
  4. González-García RA, Garcia-Peña EI, Salgado-Manjarrez E, Aranda-Barradas JS. Metabolic flux distribution and thermodynamic analysis of green fluorescent protein production in recombinant Escherichia coli: The effect of carbon source and CO^ sub 2^ partial pressure. Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering: BBE. 2013 Nov 1;18(6):1049