Engineering long-acting oral enzymes for animal nutrition through site-specific anchorage

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Interdisciplinary Bioscience DTP


Phosphorus is a key mineral nutrient for animal growth. Phytic acid is the main storage form of phosphorus in plant-based feeds. Phosphorus in phytic acid, however, is not available to non-ruminant animals such as poultry and swine. One solution to the problem of low available phosphorus in animal feed is supplementing feed with phytase. Phytase is an enzyme that releases phosphate from phytic acid. The aim of this project is to develop a means of anchoring phytase in the gizzard, its main site of action in the gastrointestinal tract. We hypothesize that improved phytase retention in the gizzard will improve the enzyme's efficacy. The main work of this project will be to select a binding protein specific to the gizzard using a phage display platform adapted to the gastric environment. The selected binding protein can then be genetically fused to phytase and the impact on the enzyme's efficacy assessed. It is intended that the platform developed may facilitate future targeting applications in the gastrointestinal tract. IBB, ENWW


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011224/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
1947331 Studentship BB/M011224/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2021 Niels Soren Wicke