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FEMOCO: Biosynthesis of the iron-molybdenum cofactor of nitrogenase

Research Project Reference: BIO2009-12661, within the National Plan of Scientific Research, Development and Technological Innovation 2008-2011.

The overall goal of this research project is to understand the biosynthesis of the iron-molybdenum cofactor (FeMo-co) of nitrogenase. FeMo-co, located at the active site of the nitrogenase enzyme is ultimately responsible for biological nitrogen fixation, a process that transforms inert atmospheric N2 into a form that can be metabolized by organisms. This essential natural process supports life on earth. We hypothesize that the complex machinery required for FeMo-co synthesis could be a limiting factor to nitrogenase activity. Understanding the details of FeMo-co synthesis and nitrogenase assembly could, in the long term, improve the agronomical applications of biological nitrogen fixation.

Partners: IMDEA Energy (Coordinator); Newbiotechnic
Funding Institution/Program: Ministry of Science and Innovation/Subprogram of fundamental not-oriented research 
Period: January 2010-December 2012
Principal Researcher: Luis M. Rubio

Ministerio Ciencia Innovacion