Development of Debaryomyces hansenii as a robust host for production of high value fatty acid-based biochemicals.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield
Department Name: Molecular Biology and Biotechnology


Petro-chemically derived biochemicals are used globally, however,
there is a worldwide drive to replace them with sustainable,
biological counterparts. Nature provides many tools to synthesise a
huge variety of biochemicals but there are problems which arise
when industrially harvesting these compounds such as low yields,
pathogenicity and difficulty in culturing the organisms. The
challenge frequently faced by the industrial biotechnology
community is how to manipulate cellular synthesis machinery in
order to yield products which can be used optimally.
In this synthetic biology project you will be part of an
interdisciplinary team that is interested in the production of a class
of bio-emulsifiers using the non-pathogenic yeast Debaryomyces
hansenii as production host. You will address how the marine
stress resistant cells adapt to the production of compounds that
potentially emulsify their membranes. You will introduce the genes
to produce the emulsifiers into D. hansenii and then address the
question using a variety of techniques including transcriptome
analysis, lipidomics and metabolic pathway analyses. Your findings
will then be used to re-engineer the cellular biosynthesis pathway
to improve bio-emulsifier production. This project is based around
principles of industrial biotechnology but creates opportunities to
work together with molecular biologists, bioinformaticians, chemists
and physiologists.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011151/1 30/09/2015 29/09/2023
2283102 Studentship BB/M011151/1 30/09/2019 29/09/2023 Quentin Levicky