Cloning E. coli Cells Expressing [FeFe]-Hydrogenase and Maturase Genes



Oliver, Sydney, “Cloning E. coli Cells Expressing [FeFe]-Hydrogenase and Maturase Genes,” Scholar@Simmons, accessed January 16, 2021,


Cloning E. coli Cells Expressing [FeFe]-Hydrogenase and Maturase Genes


Oliver, Sydney




The use of fossil fuels is inarguably the greatest contributor to climate change, as well as an incredibly unsustainable source of energy. Due to this global crisis scientific research has emerged on renewable biofuels using bacteria and semiconductors with the ability to perform artificial photosynthesis. A sustainable approach to energy consumption is to construct a two step system that will utilize the solar light spectrum to produce hydrogen gas as a fuel source. Step one consists of a photocatalytic visible light-activated semimetal that when exposed to visible light will excite an electron from the valence band to the conduction band allowing it to reduce (MV). MV will act as an electron transport intermediate to catalyze step two of the system which is the production of hydrogen gas from hydrogen ions via Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria containing hydrogenase maturase proteins. E. coli cells are cloned in three steps using restriction enzymes, beginning with the PCR amplification of four Clostridium acetobutylicum hydrogenase and maturase genes. Amplified genes are transformed into E.coli cells via two vectors and the E. coli cells are added to a previously established system containing the photocatalytic semimetal and MV. The efficiency of the inorganic/whole cell system to then produce hydrogen gas is determined using a closed gas circulation system.

Video available upon request.


Renewable Energy; Photocatalysis; Restriction Enzyme Cloning; Climate Change; Inorganic/whole-cell system


Simmons University (Boston, Mass.)


Material from the Simmons University Archives collections are made available for study purposes only. For more information, or to request rights to reproduce or reuse any material, contact the the Simmons University Archives at


mp4 video




Undergraduate Symposium
Project Discipline: Biology