Yeast Cell Factories
Historically yeast has been used in the production of beer, bread, and wine. Advances in engineering technology have enabled scientists to modify yeast metabolism to produce medicines (e.g. insulin and opioids), chemicals (e.g. lactic acid), nutraceuticals (e.g. resveratrol) and biofuels. Current yeast cell factory strains are restricted to proof-of-principle levels because of limited precursor supply, poor product tolerance and lack of versatility. CHASSY will design and build robust, efficient, yeast cell factory or chassis strains for industrial production of high value compounds
The CHASSY project will work with Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the original cell factory yeast and two other strains that have specific industrial advantages. Kluyveromyces marxianus, a thermotolerant yeast with a very high specific growth rate and Yarrowia lipolytica which can grow on hydrophobic substrates and accumulate intracellular lipids.
Systems Biology examines all of the networks that exist inside a cell, an organ, or a whole organism. At the single cell level it provides a holistic view of what genes are being transcribed into proteins, how these proteins (enzymes) are driving reactions in the cell and how these reactions impact on each other. More...
GEMs and Genome Engineering
Building a genome scale metabolic model of a yeast strain involves reconstruction of all the metabolic networks in the cell. The first yeast GEM of Saccharomyces cerevisiae was published in 2003. More...
For many centuries humans have been selecting desirable traits in one species and transferring them to another species, e.g. cross-breeding in plants. Now that scientists have a greater understanding of genetics they have developed tools to allow the transfer of genetic material and subsequently the traits associated with it, in a much more controlled way – genetic engineering. Synthetic biology is simply taking this process one step further by creating synthetic genetic material that doesn’t exist in nature and adding it to an organism’s genetic make-up. More...