Cellulect: A Synthetic Biology Platform fot eh Optimization of Enzymatic Biomass Processing

We propose to develop and implement a genetic platform for optimizing blends of enzymes for biomass processing applications, using computational modeling, combinatorial gene assembly, expression control and high-throughput screening of gene cassettes from a library of genes in modular format. In addition to providing optimal enzyme blends for any given application, analysis of the results will allow us to develop heuristics which will facilitate rational design of biomass processing systems in the future, and will lead to a deeper understanding of biomass degradation processes.

The expected results are:

  • To generate a library of modular genetic parts encoding biomolecules active in biomass degradation;
  • To create a portfolio of bacterial / fungal strains with optimised degradation performance for key industrially-relevant types of biomass;
  • To define the design rules for what biomolecules are required for effective biodegradation.

Exploitation will be achieved by industry partner Ingenza who provide a ready route to exploitation of this high-throughput platform technology via sale of enzyme cocktails (direct or by third party), licensed production of proprietary engineered strain to third party and/or contracted development of custom biomass-optimised strain.

Principal Investigator: 

Professor Alistair Elfick

Research Institutes: 

  • Bioengineering

Research Themes: 

  • Bioengineering