Biochemists have taught genetically modified bacteria dyeing jeans

A group of researchers from the University of California at Berkeley, has introduced a new way to dye jeans, environmentally friendly. As the joke of the researchers, they created the most “green” method to make jeans blue.


In the relatively distant past, to obtain a blue dyeing denim fabric blue ispolzovala dye extracted from plants, but today in the production of jeans in an industrial scale using such environmentally harmful substances as formaldehyde and hydrocyanic acid. In search of effective and environmentally friendly technique, researchers turned to experiments with bacteria

Experts genetically modified E. coli so that they were able to synthesize necessary to create the paint substances in much the same way as the plants that were used with this purpose initially. Staff then added to the obtained substance is glucose, so that it became soluble in water, and then the enzyme β-glucosidase, having thus, the substance that enables the garment to be painted in Indigo color. Moreover, the experiments showed that the thus obtained blue fabric good transfer machine washable.

In order that the technology can compete with less environmentally friendly, it will need to significantly modify — is that for the production of Indigo requires too many bacteria to count this way acceptable from a commercial point of view. However, experts hope that eventually this problem will be solved.

The study was published in the scientific journal Nature Chemical Biology.

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