Project Overview

Captain Green

Synthetic biology aims to design and construct new biological functions and system that are not found in nature. We have given the name ‘Captain Green’ to our organism M.capsulatus who plays ‘hero’ like figure in providing the greener and healthy environment.

Project Details

Global warming has become an alarming issue in 21st century and we aim to take action against it. The tremendous increase in methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide emission has become a great concern. While rice has the third-highest worldwide production and a staple crop for nearly half the world's population with the worldwide consumption of ~367 million metric ton per year but anoxic conditions in the wetland soils of rice paddies are ideal for microbes that produce methane, which trails only carbon dioxide in terms of its greenhouse effect. Rice agriculture is a big source of atmospheric methane, possibly the biggest of man-made methane sources. With an increasing world population, reductions in rice agriculture remain largely untenable as on Methane emission reduction strategy. Methane emission from paddy field makes up 29% of the total of Methane and Nitrous Oxide emission from agricultural land makes up 55%. So, greenhouse gas emissions from rice paddy fields are considered as one of the most important emission sources. The average concentration of nitrous oxide in the atmosphere is now increasing at a rate of 0.2 to 0.3% per year. Methane and nitrous oxide are both potent greenhouse gasses, with global warming potentials approximately 25 and 298 times that of carbon dioxide.


The summer heat of 2012 is enough proof towards the increasing global warming. Our project focuses on the reduction of emission of greenhouse gases from the rice paddy fields. We are focusing on reducing methane emission and as well as converting nitrous oxide into nitrate, thereby increasing the fertility of the soil. By genetically modifying Methylococcus capsulatus we plan on converting methane into carbon dioxide. Methane is proven to be a more dangerous greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. At the same time we are also going to be focusing on the most dangerous global warming gas i.e. nitrous oxide. We plan on converting nitrous oxide into nitrate using genes from Pseudomonas and Methylococcus.


1. The reduction in the greenhouse gases being emitted from the rice paddy fields.
2. To increase the fertility of the soil by increasing the nitrate content in the soil.


Our system involves the conversion of methane to methanol, then using the methanol as an inducer for homologous of Aox promoter, the target genes are used to convert nitrous oxide to nitrate, which easily be taken up by the plant and increase the yield also.

For Complete Details visit our Project Description Page

Expected Outcomes

As expected, the above project will efficiently reduce the emission rate of greenhouse gases to a significant level (which is an immediate concern of the Global warming) in Paddy crop along with increasing the fertility of the soil and thus increasing the rice yield


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