C1 Systems Biology

In this group we study the metabolism of microbes capable of growth on CO2 and derivative molecules (C1 substrates). Our objective is to understand and engineer microorganisms suitable for sustainable production from such feedstocks.

What we try to achieve
The systematic understanding of a microbe’s metabolism is crucial for effective engineering in biotechnological applications. In our group, we aim to construct extensive datasets and develop specific experimental tools for microbes capable of growth on C1 substrates. By doing so, we aim to comprehend these organisms better and improve their engineering. We focus on both natural hosts (e.g., Cupriavidus necator) as well as synthetic strains (e.g., Pseudomonas putida).

Why our research is important and how it can be used
Many microbes can naturally grow on CO2 and derivatives, a trait that makes them of interest for the biotechnological upcycling of C1 substrates. Despite their potential, such organisms remain understudied. Our vision is that through the knowledge we generate we could engineer superior strains capable of converting C1 substrates into valuable products. These engineered organisms have the potential to revolutionize biomanufacturing by achieving carbon-neutral or even carbon-negative processes.

How we achieve our aims – methods, tools, technologies
We apply a multidisciplinary approach, leveraging systems and synthetic biology methodologies. We integrate molecular biology techniques, automation (small-scale automated bioreactors) and the generation of high-quality multi-omics datasets (genomics, proteomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics). These datasets are then subjected to analysis using bioinformatics and metabolic modeling. 


The group is headed by Dr. Stefano Donati and Prof. Lars Keld Nielsen and is located at Lyngby Campus, building 220.