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Evolva teams up with Plant Biochemistry Lab, Copenhagen Univ. to publish paper on combinatorial biosynthesis

Our Bureau, Bengaluru
Thursday, March 17, 2016, 14:20 Hrs  [IST]

Evolva scientists collaborated with researchers at the Plant Biochemistry Laboratory, University of Copenhagen, to publish the paper titled Expanding the Landscape of Diterpene Structural Diversity through Stereochemically Controlled Combinatorial Biosynthesis. The paper was published in the International Edition of Angewandte Chemie.

Plant-derived diterpenoids are used extensively in food ingredients, pharmaceuticals, and fragrances. Conventional wisdom holds that they are too rare and structurally complex to be commercially useful. However, by mimicking the modularity of diterpene biosynthesis in plants, the authors constructed 51 functional combinations of Class I and Class II diterpensynthases, 41 of which are novel, stated the company.

Stereoselective biosynthesis of over 50 diterpene skeletons was demonstrated, including natural variants and novel enantiomeric or diastereomeric counterparts. Among others, the researchers produced a number of precursors for high-value diterpenoids such as forskolin which is a cyclic AMP booster) and ambrox which is an important fragrance molecule by fermentation of bio-engineered strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae or baker’s yeast.

The Plant Biochemistry Laboratory at the University of Copenhagen is internationally recognized for its research on bio-active natural products with focus on pathway elucidation and identification and characterization of the cytochrome P450 enzymes involved. Host laboratory for the Center of Synthetic Biology.

“In this study we have once again demonstrated the synergies possible when you combine the knowledge on plant secondary metabolite biosynthesis and Evolva’s knowledge and toolset in yeast metabolic engineering,” said Dr. Niels Bjerg Jensen, senior scientist, Evolva.

“This work opens the door to the efficient and targeted production of a wealth of commercially interesting diterpenoids for both the food and flavour industries,” said Prof. Dr. Birger Lindberg Møller, professor, Plant Biochemistry Laboratory, University of Copenhagen.


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