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Functional metabolites: Investigation of terpenoid biosynthesis in grapes


"The “Grapenoids” project consists of a 24 month outgoing phase to the Wine Innovation Cluster of the University of Adelaide, in collaboration with the Australia Wine Research Institute (AWRI), and a 12 month return phase to the University of Copenhagen. The work undertaken in “Grapenoids” will combine state of the art analytical chemistry and molecular biology techniques in the world's leading grape and wine research institute to identify terpenoids that act as flavour and aroma compounds. Despite their importance as flavour and aroma compounds, very little is currently known about terpenoids in grapes. In groundbreaking research carried out at the AWRI, the compound responsible for the peppery aroma of a number of plants, including some varieties of grapes, was recently identified as the sesquiterpenoid, rotundone. This discovery was made through chemical analysis, and thus the molecular basis for rotundone biosynthesis is not yet known. This example demonstrates the potential for a comprehensive investigation and characterisation of terpene biosynthesis genes from grapes to yield new and interesting functional metabolites. The ""Grapenoids"" project will be undertaken during a period when the interest in functional terpenoids is greatly expanding in the EU. A number of European research institutes and small biotechnology companies are currently investigating the potential for producing scientifically and commercially interesting terpenoids in metabolically engineered systems. A key outcome of ""Grapenoids"" will be the introduction of a number of novel terpenoid biosynthesis enzymes to the European research community in the return phase, with heterologous expression to be carried out in a metabolically engineered moss under development at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark."

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/analytical chemistry
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/molecular biology
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/biochemistry/biomolecules/proteins/enzymes

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MC-IOF - International Outgoing Fellowships (IOF)


Norregade 10
1165 Kobenhavn
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 285 579,20
Administrative Contact
Ivan Kristoffersen (Mr.)