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Biosynthetics production with detours
Date:10/31/2008

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum fr Infektionsforschung (HZI) in Braunschweig, Germany have achieved an important advance in better understanding metabolic pathways in bacteria and their use. Using computer models, the "System and Synthetic Biology" working group, headed up by Vtor Martins dos Santos, calculated the genetic changes that are necessary for increasing the production of biosynthetics in the Pseudomonas putida bacteria. Experiments in the laboratory subsequently confirmed the results. With this, the creation of natural synthetics could be increased in a targeted manner in the future. The well-known science magazine, "PLoS Computational Biology" published the results today.

Pseudonomads are bacteria that occur everywhere in our environment. Their changeable and flexible metabolism makes it possible for them to live in different habitats, in water, in soil, on plants and in animals. Among these pseudonomads, there are exponents that can be used in biotechnology. These include Pseudomonas putida: It produces chemicals, pharmaceutical products, degrades waste and toxins. It also plays an important role in manufacturing high-quality substances for industry.

Now, in cooperation with a working group at the Virginia University in America, the researchers working with Martins dos Santos searched for possibilities of increasing the production of natural materials in P. putida. For this, they chose the chemical compound, polyhydroxy butanoic acid (PHB): It is one of the important biosynthetics, which could play a major role in medicine and industry in the future. From it, seam materials, screws, adhesives or implants can be created, which dissolve after an operation or biodegradable packaging. In order to increase the yield of PHB in P. putida, the researchers developed a mathematical model.

However, the path toward such a model is long and drawn-out. "When sequencing the genome of an organism, you fr
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Contact: Hannes Schlender
presse@helmholtz-hzi.de
49-053-161-811-400
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert

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