JUL 26, 2023 12:55 PM EDT

Developing genetic engineering tools for non-conventional and non-model yeast

C.E. Credits: P.A.C.E. CE Florida CE


Microorganisms have always been integral to natural circular processes in the environment. They serve an important role in converting complex biological molecules into central building blocks that can be converted back into complex products. As a society, we now seek similar circularity in the semi-synthetic world that we’ve constructed through over a century of synthetic organic chemistry. Recent advances in genomics and synthetic biology have enabled exploitation of a wide array of microbes engineered to produce value-added products from biomass-derived and synthetically derived substrates. Our group has mainly focused on oleaginous yeast – that use a variety of low-value and waste feedstocks and can naturally accumulate a large amount of lipids. We have engineered multiple genetic tools to rapidly engineer Yarrowia lipolytica, and used these tools to elucidate cryptic metabolic pathways and to produce oleochemicals and secondary metabolites by taking advantage of naturally high flux pathways. We will also describe our work with emerging microbes that have more favorable properties for utilizing low-value and waste substrates, including lignin-derived aromatics and plastic waste.
Key Points:

  • There is great potential for using non-conventional and non-model microbes to address sustainability issues in society.
  • Our ability to rapidly develop genetic engineering tools enables us to take advantage of complex phenotypes non found in model microbes.
  • We demonstrate the translation of tools development into improved processes for biochemical production.

You May Also Like
Loading Comments...