Navigation Links
UCI and CODA Genomics collaborate to re-engineer yeast for biofuel production
Date:9/4/2007

Irvine, Calif., Sept. 4, 2007 Scientists from UC Irvine and CODA Genomics are partnering on new research aimed at turning a common strain of yeast used in the production of beer, wine and bread into an efficient producer of ethanol.

Researchers at UCIs Institute for Genomics and Bioinformatics (IGB) are using CODA Genomics patented gene-protein-production algorithms to tweak the genetic structure of a yeast strain called Saccharomyces. It has the potential to efficiently turn switchgrass, hemp, corn, wood and other natural materials into ethanol a clean and environmentally safe fuel that could help meet the nations increasing thirst for green energy.

The $1.67 million collaboration, which began Sept. 1, is funded by CODA Genomics, an Orange County synthetic biology company, and a UC Discovery Grant that provides matching funds for innovative industry-university research partnerships.

Saccharomyces produces ethanol as a byproduct when it ferments sugars found in plant materials. In its natural state, the yeast processes the glucose that grows in these materials, but does not contain the necessary enzymes to process other sugars, such as xylose and arabinose, that are components of biomass. The bio-engineered version of the yeast will produce enzymes that can help it digest these and other sugars with equal ease, maximizing its ethanol production.

Scientists believe the bio-engineered yeast could use 80-90 percent of the sugars in biomass for ethanol production, up from about 20 percent with current technologies.

Ethanol could be an answer to the U.S.s dependence on fossil fuels, said G. Wesley Hatfield, principal investigator on the grant, a UCI professor emeritus and co-founder of CODA Genomics. While there currently are yeast strains that can make ethanol from biomass, the existing process is very expensive and inefficient. Were trying to build a better yeast strain one that can produce more ethanol from the same amount of biomass by breaking it down naturally.

The multidisciplinary research project involves UCI researchers in the schools of information and computer sciences, engineering and medicine, as well as researchers at CODA Genomics, which spun off in 2005 from UCI research.

CODAs patented technology uses computer algorithms to design synthetic genes that self-assemble easily and generate protein in large amounts. This allows genes that occur naturally in certain organisms to be re-engineered to meet the needs of different organisms. When applied to Saccharomyces, the technology modifies the yeast so it can manufacture enzymes to break down a wider variety of sugars.

Even when the yeast is producing the necessary enzymes, inefficiencies in its metabolic pathways can slow the process. Pierre Baldi, IGB director and one of the projects co-principal investigators, is computationally optimizing key enzymes to increase their efficiency. With computer algorithms, he is engineering compatibility of these key enzymes with various co-factors the small molecules that help the enzymes work.

Given the current energy crisis and global warming concerns, we are particularly pleased with this award, said Baldi, who is also Chancellors Professor in UCIs Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences.

Also involved in the multidisciplinary project are researchers from IGBs Computational Biology Research Laboratory (CBRL) in the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, and the labs of professors Suzanne Sandmeyer (biological chemistry) and Nancy Da Silva (biochemical engineering).

CBRL scientists perform the computation, gene design and gene assembly of the yeast proteins using CODAs technology. Sandmeyer, a yeast molecular biologist, inserts the proteins into the yeast genome, ensuring the enzymes stability and their ability to function. Da Silva, a chemical engineer, ensures that fermentation conditions are optimal to maximize ethanol production.

The CODA technology is already showing commercial success in therapeutic protein markets, said CODA Genomics CEO Robert Molinari. Now we are going to apply the unique approach to a large national problem.


'/>"/>

Contact: Anna Lynn Spitzer
aspitzer@uci.edu
949-824-3317
University of California - Irvine
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New comparative toxicogenomics database
2. Measuring the impact of post-genomics on Mediterranean populations
3. Advancements In Genomics Foster Deep Sea Discoveries
4. Ariadne Genomics Announces the Release of PathwayStudio?Central, Client-Server Software for Biological Pathway Analysis
5. Owl genomics presents a HEPATOCHIP for diagnosis of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis
6. Enlisting genomics to understand flu evolution
7. Drawing with DNA: Bioart illuminates genomics
8. Genomics researchers discover protein deficit that causes drug toxicity
9. Study reveals genomics of inflammation from severe injury
10. NIH launches comprehensive effort to explore cancer genomics
11. Environmental metagenomics diagnosing extreme environments, tapping opportunities for clean energy
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/17/2017)... , April 17, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. ... company, announces the filing of its 2016 Annual Report on Form ... Exchange Commission. ... Form 10-K is available in the Investor Relations section of the ... on the SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . 2016 ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. , April 11, ... biometric identity management and secure authentication solutions, today ... million contract by Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity ... technologies for IARPA,s Thor program. "Innovation ... the onset and IARPA,s Thor program will allow ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... MELBOURNE, Florida , April 11, 2017 ... "Company"), a security technology company, announces the appointment of independent ... John Bendheim to its Board of Directors, furthering the ... ... behalf of NXT-ID, we look forward to their guidance and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... two-dimensional representations of a complex biological network, a depiction of a system of ... mess,” said Dmitry Korkin, PhD, associate professor of computer science at Worcester Polytechnic ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... AMRI, a global ... industries to improve patient outcomes and quality of life, will now be offering ... being attributed to new regulatory requirements for all new drug products, including the ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ComplianceOnline’s Medical Device Summit is back for ... June 2018 in San Francisco, CA. The Summit brings together current and former FDA ... board directors and government officials from around the world to address key issues in ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... 2017 , ... A new study published in Fertility and ... in vitro fertilization (IVF) transfer cycles. The multi-center matched cohort study ... comparing the results from the fresh and frozen transfer cohorts, the authors of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: