Bioengineering non-sugar modifications of saponins (OSBOURN_J17UNIL)

Lead Research Organisation: University of East Anglia
Department Name: Graduate Office


Saponins (glycosylated triterpenes) are one of the most numerous and diverse groups of plant natural products. They are complex molecules that are, for the most part, beyond the reach of chemical synthesis. These compounds have a wide range of industrial applications, including as surfactants for use in soaps and other home and personal care products. A considerable amount is now known about the enzymes that synthesise and modify triterpene scaffolds. This project exploits an innovative synthetic biology approach for easy and quick production of known and new-to-nature triterpenes using a transient plant expression system. The goal is to engineer triterpenes with optimised physical properties and performance for use in home and personal care products.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/R505584/1 01/11/2017 31/10/2021
1957895 Studentship BB/R505584/1 01/11/2017 31/10/2021 Eliot Jan-Smith
Description Involvement in the Norwich Science Festival 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Involved in running a stall along with two others aimed at explaining synthetic biology & production of triterpenoids to the general public, with a focus on children.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019