Nowadays everybody is aware of the toxic effects of the conventional insecticides that are used to protect our plants from pest insects. The insecticides are harmful for the farmer, who sprays them on the field, for the pollinating insects, e.g., bees, and insecticide residues on fruits and vegetables are harmful for the consumer. But are there other safer ways to protect the plants from pest insects?
Yes, one of most promising methods is mating disruption, where small amounts of insect sex pheromones are released in the field to prevent the males from finding the insect females. This way females do not get fertilized and can not lay eggs that develop into larvae eating the plants. The technology is simple and effective, but until now quite expensive.
The EU-funded project OLEFINE will solve this problem, making pheromones so cheap that they will become an affordable alternative to insecticides. Currently, pheromones are produced by chemical synthesis, which is an expensive and polluting process. The scientists in OLEFINE will use biotechnology instead to produce pheromones at low cost by brewing, in the same way how insulin is made for diabetes treatment and enzymes are produced for washing powders.
The OLEFINE EU Horizon 2020 project is featured in The Guardian (June 12, 2018)
The OLEFINE EU Horizon 2020 project introduced at the National Center for Scientific Research "Demokritos" (June 12, 2018)
ChThe Laboratory of Chemical Ecology and Natural Products of the Institute of Biosciences and Applications, NCSR “Demokritos”, led by Dr. Maria Konstantopoulou, participates in the European OLEFINE (OLEFINE yeast platforms for FINE chemicals) HORIZON2020 (Grant Agreement No. 760798). The program, which lasts 48 months, involves 5 academics and 4 industrial partners. Read more here -> Demokritos
BioPhero will participate at the Metabolic Engineering Conference in Munich in June 2018 (April 25, 2018)
Next Olefine Project Meeting at DTU, 4th of May 2018 (April 03, 2018)
The next project meeting will be held at DTU on 4th of May 2018. All partners are invited to join the next Half-Annual Meeting at DTU, Denmark.
Kick-off meeting (January 16, 2018)
All partners gathered in Brussels for the official start of OLEFINE project.
The oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica is an emerging host for production of fatty acid‐derived chemicals. To enable rapid iterative metabolic engineering of this yeast, there is a need for well‐characterized genetic parts and convenient and reliable methods for their incorporation into yeast. Here, the EasyCloneYALI genetic toolbox, which allows streamlined strain construction with high genome editing efficiencies in Y. lipolytica via the CRISPR/Cas9 technology is presented. The toolbox allows marker‐free integration of gene expression vectors into characterized genome sites as well as marker‐free deletion of genes with the help of CRISPR/Cas9. Genome editing efficiencies above 80% were achieved with transformation protocols using non‐replicating DNA repair fragments (such as DNA oligos). Furthermore, the toolbox includes a set of integrative gene expression vectors with prototrophic markers conferring resistance to hygromycin and nourseothricin.