The conversion of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) to biomass via photosynthesis is the foundation for all of our food and energy. Tobias Erb explains how his lab is working to design, build and optimize pathways for synthetic CO2 fixation. By combining enzymes from multiple organisms with “re-engineered” enzymes and optimizing the processes, Erb and his lab generated a synthetic cycle that fixes CO2 more energy efficiently than photosynthesis. In the future, they plan to test the system in artificial cells and to transplant it into bacteria and chloroplasts. The video exemplifies the general rules and principles of building synthetic metabolism.
Tobias Erb studied biology and chemistry at the University of Freiburg and Ohio State University. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Illinois before starting his own group at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland. In 2014, Erb moved to the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg,… Continue Reading