Israeli Researchers Develop Bacteria Fed Only With Carbon Dioxide

The Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS) in central Israel has recently informed that the Israeli researchers have developed bacteria fed only with carbon dioxide. It has also come to know that these bacteria can help to develop future technologies to decrease harmful greenhouse gas accumulation in the atmosphere. It can also fight against global warming.

These bacteria are capable of building the entire biomass of their body from the carbon in the air. A study was published in the journal Cell, in which it has been revealed, these bacteria were completely weaned off sugar, after the almost decade-long process.


The Israeli scientists were successful in reprogramming E.coli bacteria, that consume sugars and release carbon dioxide, so they use carbon dioxide from the environment and produce the sugars they need to build their body.

After mapping the genes that are essential for the procedure, the researchers added some of them to the bacteria genome in their lab. Additionally, they also have inserted the bacteria a gene that helps them to receive energy from a substance called formate.

But this was not enough to make bacteria change their diet and so “laboratory evolution” processes were needed to gradually wean them off sugar. During every stage of the process, the cultured bacteria received a diminishing amount of sugar. At the same time, it gained an abundance of carbon dioxide and formate.

Gradually, the bacteria’s offspring were weaned off sugar dependence. It became possible only after adjusting the new diet regime after about six months where some went through a total nutritional turnover. It is being considered by the researchers that the “healthy” habits of these bacteria will be proven healthy for the earth.

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