Evolva scientists co-author paper on diterpene biosynthesis of economically relevant commercial targets

10 March 2016 – Evolva scientists collaborated with researchers at the Plant Biochemistry Laboratory, University of Copenhagen, a longtime Evolva academic collaborator, to publish the paper “Expanding the Landscape of Diterpene Structural Diversity through Stereochemically Controlled Combinatorial Biosynthesis”. The paper was published in the International Edition of Angewandte Chemie, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/anie.201510650/full

Plant-derived diterpenoids are used extensively in food ingredients, pharmaceuticals, and fragrances. Conventional wisdom holds that they are too rare and structurally complex to be commercially useful. However, by mimicking the modularity of diterpene biosynthesis in plants, the authors constructed 51 functional combinations of Class I and Class II diterpensynthases, 41 of which are novel.

Stereoselective biosynthesis of over 50 diterpene skeletons was demonstrated, including natural variants and novel enantiomeric or diastereomeric counterparts. Among others, the researchers produced a number of precursors for high-value diterpenoids such as forskolin (a cyclic AMP booster) and ambrox (an important fragrance molecule) by fermentation of bio-engineered strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker’s yeast).

“In this study we have once again demonstrated the synergies possible when you combine the knowledge on plant secondary metabolite biosynthesis and Evolva’s knowledge and toolset in yeast metabolic engineering,” said Evolva Senior Scientist Dr. Niels Bjerg Jensen.

“This work opens the door to the efficient and targeted production of a wealth of commercially interesting diterpenoids for both the food and flavour industries,” said Prof. Dr. Birger Lindberg Møller, Professor at the Plant Biochemistry Laboratory.

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 About the Plant Biochemistry Laboratory

The Plant Biochemistry Laboratory at the University of Copenhagen is internationally recognized for its research on bio-active natural products with focus on pathway elucidation and identification and characterization of the cytochrome P450 enzymes involved. Host laboratory for the Center of Synthetic Biology “bioSYNergy” and the VILLUM research center “Plant Plasticity”.

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About Evolva

Evolva is a pioneer and global leader in sustainable, fermentation-based approaches to ingredients for health, wellness and nutrition. Evolva’s products include stevia, resveratrol, vanillin, nootkatone and saffron. As well as developing its own proprietary ingredients, Evolva also deploys its technology for partners, providing them with a competitive edge and sharing in the returns they make. For more information see www.evolva.com. Questions about our fermentation approach? Have a look at our video.
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