Anthropogenic methane emissions are key drivers of global warming. 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: 1) characterization of key elements (enzymes, regulators) essential for microbial methane utilization, via elucidation of the topology, evolution, and functional plasticity of the related metabolic pathways; 2) understanding key mechanisms supporting microbe-microbe or microbe-host interactions; and 3) development of novel sustainable approaches for methane capturing and conversion into next generation chemicals and fuels.  Over the years my team has developed a collection of methane-consuming microbes, many with great biotechnological potential.

Current research projects:

  • ARPA-e: Process intensification of biological natural gas conversion  through innovative bioreactor design. Role: Co-PI ( PI, D. Griffin, LanzaTech)
  • DOE: Biogas valorization: development of a methane-to-adipic acid bioprocess. Role: Co-PI. (PI M. Guarnieri, NREL)
  • SDSU: LEAFs: validation of the living filters for greenhouse gas capturing.  Role: PI.
  • NSF: Microbial conversion of greenhouse gases into fermentation-ready sugars. Role : PI
  • EMSL: Spatial organization of methane oxidation: rediscovering fundamentals. Role: PI.
  • DOE (CSP2016): Systems level insights into methane cycling in arid and semi-arid ecosystems via community metagenomics and metatranscriptomics. Role: PI.

Selected publications:

  • Kalyuzhnaya MG. 2016. Methane biocatalysis: selecting the right microbe. In Biotechnologies for biofuel production and optimization (Ed. By C. Eckert and C.T.Trinh).
  • De la Torre A, Metivier A, Chu F, Laurens LML, Beck DAC, Pienkos PT, Lidstrom ME & Kalyuzhnaya MG. 2015. Genome-scale metabolic reconstructions and theoretical investigation of methane conversion in Methylomicrobium buryatense strain 5G(B1). Microb Cell Fact. 14:188. doi: 10.1186/s12934-015-0377-3
  • Kalyuzhnaya MG, Puri AW, & Lidstrom ME. 2015. Metabolic engineering in methanotrophic bacteria. Metabol Eng. 29: 142-152. doi: 10.1016/j.ymben.2015.03.01
  • Kalyuzhnaya MG, Yang S, Rozova ON, Smalley NE, Clubb J, Lamb A, Nagana Gowda GA, Raftery D, Fu Y, Bringel F,  Vuilleumier S, Beck DAC, Trotsenko YA, Khmelenina VN, & Lidstrom ME. 2013. Highly efficient methane biocatalysis revealed in methanotrophic bacterium. Nat Commun. doi:10.1038/ncomms3785