Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Cynthetica (Development of tools to increase product yields in cyanobacteria using a synthetic biology approach)
Reporting period: 2017-06-01 to 2019-05-31
I focused on two tools: the “anchor tool” and “capsule tool”. With the anchor tool I focused on improving membrane protein expression in cyanobacteria. Membrane proteins are very difficult to express, however, they are of great industrial importance. This is particularly true for proteins involved in the production of high value compounds, such as cytochrome P450s.
As part of the capsule tool, Cynthetica aimed to improve the output of a biosynthetic pathway. By generating dedicated locations for product synthesis, we can optimise product flows, thus making the process more efficient and less toxic to the cell. Interestingly, Cynthetica has found that certain fast-growing cyanobacteria are particularly well suited for this approach and are comparable to current non-photosynthetic hosts.
Over the course of the project we have followed the building principles of synthetic biology, therefore, the tools created are user-friendly and ready to be shared with other researchers and industrial users. Additionally, the project was disseminated to a wide range of audiences. I have presented this work at 5 international scientific meetings and I have been a co-author on, so far, 2 peer-reviewed open access publications. I am now in the process of building my own research group based on this project. More results from Cynthetica remain to be published and will be made available to the scientific community through open-access publications.