In our research group, we explore the huge yeast biodiversity in nature with the aim to identify and characterize non-conventional yeast species with biotechnologically interesting traits. Such traits include for example the ability to grow on specific carbon sources or the capacity to produce valuable metabolites. We also work with cell factory design and development of both baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and non-conventional yeast species, where the strains are intended for various applications including bioproduction of fuels, chemicals and materials.
In our work we use a range of different methods, including mass-parallel small-scale yeast cultivations and bioreactor fermentations, genomics and transcriptomics.
For strain development, we use both metabolic engineering and adaptive laboratory evolution.
Through collaboration, we also perform bioinformatic and comparative genomic analyses to find new species, metabolic pathways and enzymes of interest, and then apply these discoveries in new or improved bioproduction processes.
More specifically, ongoing projects deal with:
Bioprospecting and high-throughput screening
Bioprospecting and high-throughput screening of unique strain collections to identify non-conventional yeasts that can grow on different saccharides. By combining growth characterization with bioinformatic analysis, we aim to elucidate the genes and enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism.
Strain development using CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing
Strain development using CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology, aiming to construct xylan-degrading Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains intended for consolidated bioprocesses. We are also developing CRISPR/Cas9 tools for the non-conventional yeast Candida intermedia.
Precision fermentation for production of specific fatty acids and sugar alcohols, aiming to optimize both the production processes and the yeast strains to boost titers, yields and productivities.
Research group leader
- João Heitor Netto (postdoc 2021-2022)
- Venkat Rao Konasani (postdoc 2018-2020)
- Iván Ciklic (postdoc 2018-2019)