Unraveling amino sugar-phosphate stress regulation and response mechanisms in Escherichia coli to enable the development of microbial cell factories for the synthesis of amino sugar containing compounds

01 November 2019 → Ongoing
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Synthetic biology
  • Engineering and technology
    • Industrial microbiology
stress regulation
Project description

Industrial biotechnology has become a major competitor for the chemical industry over the past years, especially in the production of defined nature derived molecules. Optimization of the microbial cell factories (MCF) used in these industrial processes is still needed though as more improvement is definitely required to develop new economically valuable processes. This is greatly supported by the fields of Synthetic Biology (SynBio) and Systems Biology (SysBio). Nowadays however, there are still several bottlenecks, often due to a lack of knowledge of the complex regulation of metabolic networks. In this PhD proposal the hexosamine biosynthesis pathway (HBP) is further explored. As little is known about the regulation and response mechanisms to the stress caused by amino sugar-phosphates, both SynBio and SysBio approaches will be employed to unravel these mechanisms. A better understanding thereof will enable us to find ways to help the bacterial cells with stress relief. In doing so, improved MCFs for the production of chito-oligosaccharides (COS) can be designed. COS has a vast repertoire of application possibilities in numerous fields such as pharmaceuticals, food, feed, cosmetics etc. due to its various biological activities.