Marina G. Kalyuzhnaya


5500 Campanile Dr, San Diego, CA 92182, USA
San Diego State University, Department of Biology,
San Diego, CA 92182, USA


The consequences of climate change pose significant risks to human health, including reductions of freshwater supplies and food. Global warming is driven by the emission of greenhouse gases, mostly CO2 and methane. The widespread and steady growth of anthropogenic actions (i.e., fossil fuel production, agriculture, landfill use, and municipal wastewater treatment) made methane not only the major contributor to climate change, but also the primary target for near-term climate regulation.

Microbial methane utilization is one of the main sinks of the greenhouse gas in nature. A number of methanotrophic bacteria have been isolated, but only a few of them, including Methylomicrobium alcaliphilum 20ZR, have been established as promising and efficient biocatalysts for industrial applications or methane mitigation practices. My presentation will describe a systems-based investigation of the central metabolic pathways in M. alcaliphilum 20ZR.

We combined whole-genome, flux-balance modeling with systems-biology approaches (i.e., global metabolomics, transcriptomics and quantitative proteomics) and classical enzymology and genetics to both improve the understanding of methane utilization and facilitate metabolic engineering.  A set of novel mechanisms contributing to both the regulation of the central metabolic pathway and the formation of key metabolic precursors are proposed. Novel traits allowing enhanced production of biodiesel, commercially important organic acids (i.e., succinic, lactic, gluconic, and muconic acids) and amino acids (i.e., ectoine and glutamate) were developed. Our results bridge the potential of biological systems with technology development to address affordable, small-scale methane mitigation.

Biographic Details

Name: Marina G. Kalyuzhnaya

Title: Assistant Professor

Affiliation, Country: USA

Phone: +7 619-594-1839 E-mail:

Research interests: While it is recognized that methane mitigation is critical to the health and well-being of mankind, an ideal system that could diminish the impact of fugitive methane has not yet been elucidated. Research in my group is centered on understanding biological methane conversion in nature and applying newly discovered explicit principles to support a sustainable environment and adaptation to climate change. Our research effort includes three main areas:

  • Understanding microbial methane metabolism;
  • Developing new biotechnologies to improve sustainability of human-made ecosystems;
  • Investigating the methane cycle in the desert with a special focus on on plant-methanotroph interactions upon water stress.


AEB 313