LSU Mechanical Engineering graduate student Tatiana Mello of Piracicaba, Brazil, is currently working on genetically engineering and optimizing E. coli bacteria to produce bioproducts, like biodiesel, in a cost-effective manner.
Mello proposes using E. coli bacteria to expand biodiesel production by creating a new type of feedstock.
"The main feedstocks used in the U.S. for biodiesel are soybean and corn oil," she said.
"The actual production is enough to feed us, but you have the surplus that nobody knew what to do with, so biodiesel was created.
E. coli is cheap and abundant, and you can just genetically modify it to fulfill this need."
"Malonyl-CoA maximization is the topic of my research because it's a precursor for so many things," she said.