CHASSY is a multi-partner European project funded under the NMBP-BIO Program of Horizon 2020. It is coordinated by University College Cork, Ireland and runs for 48 months from December 2016 – November 2020. The aim of CHASSY is to deliver a suite of yeast strains that can serve as versatile platforms for production of high value oleochemicals and aromatic molecules.
This will be achieved by integrating the knowledge gained from systems biology with the engineering tools of synthetic biology to redesign metabolic pathways in the target yeast species. These redesigned strains will have optimised levels of product precursors and will serve as versatile chassis for industrial exploitation.
CHASSY will unlock the full potential of the yeasts Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Yarrowia lipolytica and Kluyveromyces marxianus as cell factories for production of high value compounds which have applications in the cosmetic, nutraceutical and white biotechnology sectors. Current cell factory strains for these classes of product are restricted to proof-of-principle levels because of limited precursor supply, poor product tolerance and lack of versatility. CHASSY addresses these challenges by redesigning metabolic circuits and expanding the host range to include the oleaginous yeast, Y. lipolytica and the thermotolerant yeast, K. marxianus.
The systems biology approach will integrate model-based design, construction and analysis of yeast strains, resulting in reconfigured metabolic networks optimised for the production of lipid and aromatic molecules. Construction of the chassis strains, using new and existing synthetic biology tools, will be directed by knowledge derived from a thorough systems biology comparison of the three yeast species, conducted using integrative data analysis and genome scale metabolic models.
The new built cell factory strains will be evaluated under industrial conditions to produce data that will further improve the chassis platforms. The major outcomes of this project will be:
- a new set of chassis yeast strains that are widely applicable for development of industrial cell factories;
- the knowledge and technology to readily build and evaluate new chassis tailored to specific applications;
- prototype cell factory strains producing three high value metabolites for commercial exploitation;
- a dissemination and exploitation strategy to ensure that European SMEs benefit from the knowledge base, platform chassis and resources generated in CHASSY