I am wondering if it is theoretically possible to produce bread using only microorganisms. If one lists all the chemical components, proteins fermentation time, etc., is it then doable to combine the needed (engineered) microorganisms in one bio-reactor, let them do their thing and produce the wanted product (bread in this case)? Maybe there is a review paper on this topic but I haven't found it yet.

My background: Molecular biology, I know too little about microbiology and bio-reactors, etc.

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    $\begingroup$ What do you mean by "only using microorganisms"? Do you mean with no flour at all? $\endgroup$ Feb 14, 2018 at 14:23
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    $\begingroup$ blue green algae and brown algae might be a candidate, it is already used as a minor source for gluten free bread, you would need to specially breed them however to get the right protein to starch levels $\endgroup$
    – John
    Feb 14, 2018 at 15:59
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    $\begingroup$ @LinuxBlanket Yes, flour provides the structure of the bread. So I can imagine that if an bacteria species is engineered in such a way that it produces every component of flour then it could be possible to produce bread without flour, right? $\endgroup$
    – Kris Evers
    Feb 15, 2018 at 11:56
  • $\begingroup$ I would take this question to WorldBuilding. They love the hypothetical 'What if - how can we" type of questions. And shouldn't any Molecular Bio person have a solid understanding of MicroBio and reactors??? At least in my time, ages ago, I received quite some training in that arena during my bachelor's Biochem $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Feb 23, 2018 at 8:02

1 Answer 1


It looks like that yeast has been engineered to produce starch.

First of all, the authors had to knock out the genes responsible for the glycogen metabolism pathway (both glycolysis and gluconeogenesis). Then they introduced eight genes known to belong to the amylopectin biosynthetic pathway. The authors succeeded in having starch granules in yeast.

You could start with this yeast strain to produce your bread. You'll probably need to at least dry them in order to reduce them to some sort of flour (probably a hard one, since the yeast would be rich in proteins); otherwise, some means to purify starch grains from yeast should be devised. Then you'd mix them with water and regular baker yeast and maybe you could obtain a bread-like food!


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