Metabolic Engineering of Plants to Produce Precursors (Phloroglucinol and 1,2,4-butanetriol) of Energetic Materials
Final rept. 1 Apr 2008-30 Sep 2014
COLORADO STATE UNIV FORT COLLINS
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The goal of this proposal was to engineer plants to produce butanetriol and phloroglucinol, which are precursors of energetic materials butanetriol trinitrate BTTN and 1,3,5-triamino-2,4,6 trinitrobenzene TATB, respectively, in plants. The strategy was to introduce bacterial genes involved in synthesis of these chemicals in to plants. Synthesis of these precursors of energetic materials in plants overcomes many problems associated with the current chemical-based methods. Bacterial synthesis of butanetriol from xylose or arabinose takes place in a pathway that requires four enzymes. We have introduced four bacterial genes involved in synthesis of butanetriol from either xylose or arabinose into plants and shown that plants can produce butanetriol Abdel-Ghany et al., Metabolic Engineering, 20, 109-120, 2013. We have also demonstrated that introduction of bacterial phloroglucinol synthase into plants results in production both phloroglucinol and a phloroglucinol glucoside phlorin. These proof-of-concept experiments were carried out in Arabidopsis. To introduce these pathways into Miscanthus, a non-food crop, we have developed an efficient regeneration system for this plant.
- Genetic Engineering and Molecular Biology