The development of sustainable fuels from renewable sources is a key strategy in combatting environmental degradation and economic instability related to dwindling fossil resources. However, new fuels need to be compatible with existing engine designs and distribution infrastructures. 1-octanol is a potential substitute for both diesel and jet fuels. It has already been produced by fermentation of sugars in bacteria, and Eckhard Boles and colleagues at Goethe University Frankfurt have now engineered a yeast that can produce this valuable biofuel. While 1-octanol continues to be potentially toxic to yeast, further work may facilitate sustainable production of this compound at commercially viable levels in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Brewer’s yeast). Read the full paper here.
CHASSY at the International Bio-based Materials Conference, 2018
CHASSY coordinator, John Morrissey and Biopetrolia CEO, Anastasia Krivoruchko both spoke at the 11th BMC in Cologne in a session entitled ‘Yeast as biobased platform for specialty chemicals’, which was chaired by Prof. Haralabos Zorbas from the IBB Network. Dr Morrissey introduced the history of yeast in biotechnology up to its use in bioethanol, a relatively low-value product. Read More...
CHASSY PI Professor Jack Pronk of TU Delft has received the 2018 International Metabolic Engineering Award for his outstanding contribution to the field of metabolic engineering. The International Metabolic Engineering Society (IMES) presents the award every two years. Professor Pronk is particularly recognised for his important contribution to improving and extending the processes for production of fuel ethanol in yeast. The award, and a lecture by Pronk, will be presented at the Metabolic Engineering conference, June 24-28 in Munich, Germany. To hear Jack speak about his quest to produce truly sustainable biofuels, watch this short video.
CHASSY researcher from UCC, Darren Fenton presented his study on translational response to stresses in industrial yeasts using ribosome profiling at the European Federation of Biotechnology Microbial Stress conference in Kinsale, Ireland. Ribosome profiling studies the locations of the protein synthesizing machinery (or ribosomes) for each gene in a yeast cell. This provides insights into translational stresses in industrial yeast and eventually help design more robust chassis yeasts. To learn more, click here to see Darren’s poster.
The recording for the CHASSY webinar ‘Engineering Yeast for Biotechnology – new prospects for industry’ is now available. Click here to watch it.
Prof. Eckhard Boles gave a talk in March on his group’s work on yeast as an industrial organism at the Technical University, Darmstadt. This talk was part of the CompuGene Seminar Series. The goal of CompuGene is to develop computer-aided processes to enable the design of complex genetic circuits in biological systems, with a highly interdisciplinary approach.
What do modern biotechnology and especially gene editing via CRISPR/Cas9 and similar technologies mean for the bio-based economy? What do these new concepts mean in terms of technology, politics and public perception?
These are some of the questions that this Nova Session answered. On 6th March 2018, CHASSY coordinator Dr John Morrissey presented a talk entitled ‘Technological Advances and Potential Applications for Genome Editing Yeasts for Industrial Biotechnology‘. This was a unique opportunity to learn from, meet, and establish collaborations with some of the leading minds using genetics for industrial biotechnology and the biobased economy. To stay informed of future Nova Sessions, follow Nova on Twitter, or sign up to their Biobased newsletter.
CHASSY coordinator, John Morrissey, participated in the Cork Science Festival’s ‘Science for Sustainability’ event. An exhibition on scientific advances contributing to environmental and economic sustainability ran in St Peter’s, Cork from the 10th -19th November 2017. Dr Morrissey’s talk, ‘Fermenting the Future’ outlined the contribution that yeast biotechnology can make to sustainability (11th November @ 18:30).
The CHASSY consortium met in Straubing, Germany, for its first annual meeting in early October 2017. This 2 day meeting included scientific updates and planning, meetings of the various project bodies and work packages, a tour of Clariant’s wheat straw to ethanol demonstration plant, a poster session displaying the researchers’ work, and an enjoyable group dinner. The meeting was a great opportunity to form and strengthen collaborations, to plan the work for year 2 of the project, to learn about some concrete applications of yeast research and biotechnology in the bio-based economy, and to get to know the people working on the project. Thanks to Clariant for organising. The photo album is available here. We look forward to meeting again in 2018!
CHASSY PI, Jens Nielsen, was awarded the prestigious ‘Energy Frontiers Award’ by the Italian oil company, ENI. He was presented with the award in a ceremony attended by the Italian president. The ENI award is known as the ‘Nobel Prize for Energy’ by the scientific community. Professor Nielsen was given the award in recognition of his work on producing hydrocarbons in yeast. Read the full press release here.
Two CHASSY PIs, Jens Nielsen and Eckhard Boles were invited to present their work in a session entitled ‘New Biotechnologies’ at the 28th International Conference on Yeast Genetics and Microbial Biology in Prague, Czech Republic. Prof. Nielsen’s talk focussed on metabolic engineering of yeast using systems biology, and Prof. Boles’ talk looked at artificial and re-engineered enzyme complexes for biotechnology.
The 33rd International Specialised Symposium on Yeasts (ISSY33) was held at University College, Cork on the 26th – 29th June 2017. Overall, the conference was an inspiring and fascinating selection of scientific research, and a great mix of industry and academic researchers from all over the world and at all stages of their careers…more
On 28th June, the CHASSY project management team put on an exhibition and lecture to engage the general public in the past, present, and future of yeast biotechnology. John Morrissey gave a highly engaging lecture on the history of brewing yeast and current developments in yeast research. Noemi Montini discussed the bio-based economy and yeast in biofuels with attendees, and researchers from UCC, INRA, Evolva, and other institutions presented their research and produce to the people of Cork, Ireland…more