NUS Enterprise

Synthetic Biology - Natural Large-scale Production of Short-Branched Chain Fatty Acids for the Chemical Industry

Technology #2016-145

Synthetic Biology - Natural Large-scale Production of Short-Branched Chain Fatty Acids for the Chemical Industry

MARKET OPPORTUNITY

Short branched-chain fatty acids (SBCFAs) are very useful platform chemicals that can be converted into many valuable industrial products like esters that are used for the production of plastics, plasticizers, surfactants and textile auxiliaries.

SBCFAs are mainly chemically synthesized. There is an increasing interest in producing these via environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient microbial biosynthesis routes to replace chemical synthesis. The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been found to natively produce three types of SBCFAs. However, the amount of SBCFAs generated in S. cerevisiae is low.

TECHNOLOGY

The invention is a method for overproducing SBCFAs in yeast (S. cerevisiae) cells by the following:

i) Construction of promoter replacement cassettes with a strong constitutive promoter

ii) Overexpression of single SBCFA pathway gene to increase SBCFA production

iii) Combinatorial overexpression of multiple genes with key roles in the biosynthesis, competition and secretion of SBCFAs.

ADVANTAGES

  • The genetic modifications lead to a 31.2-fold increase in the titer of SBCFAs as compared to wild-type yeast
  • Environmentally friendly method to produce SBCFAs

APPLICATIONS

The utility of this method is in industries in the chemical space - flavors and perfumes.

STATUS

Available for licensing. PCT application filed in October 2017.

Inventor

A/Prof. Matthew Chang

E-mail: bchcmw@nus.edu.sg

Contact:

Radhika Das Chakraborty

Phone: +65-66012768

E-mail: radhika@nus.edu.sg

ILO Ref No: 2016-145