Bio2Future course "Novel carbohydrate-based materials from microbes"
Course in brief
The course will focus on microbial polysaccharides biosynthesis and how genetic engineering can be applied for tailoring of the biosynthesis. In addition, it will explore how enzymatic activities derived from microbial polysaccharides biosynthesis can be identified and utilized in vitro in the production of polysaccharide-based products. Furthermore, necessary molecular-level analytical techniques will be discussed. In the course, examples of microbial polysaccharides as materials or as value-added products for food and health applications will be discussed.
The composition of plant-based polysaccharides is limited to cellulose and hemicelluloses. From these building blocks, only a limited number of value-added products can be obtained by chemical, thermal or enzymatic treatment, thus, the design space for creating completely novel polysaccharide-based compounds is limited. In contrast to plants, microbes produce are a large variety of polysaccharides. Microbial polysaccharides have diverse and unique properties and are in use in a wide range of applications ranging from food to vaccines. Microbial polysaccharides due to their diversity exhibit a tremendous design space toward the production of new valuable materials and other products.
The increasing insights into fundamental mechanisms and functions of genes and proteins involved in the different microbial polysaccharide biosynthesis pathways in combination with the growing portfolio of techniques for genetic engineering have the potential to be applied for the production of tailored polysaccharides.
The course will highlight how the diversity of polysaccharide-based compounds can be increased and how synthetic biology can be harnessed to tailor polysaccharides and to increase the product portfolio in the future. Furthermore, it will highlight how enzyme activities isolated from these microbes can be applied in vitro in order to modify other substrates or be used in carbohydrate synthesis. Lastly, the course will discuss some of the analytical methods for the molecular level characterization of the products.
Access to tailored polysaccharides will enable novel biomaterials and also revolutionizing medical applications
After the course, the participants will appreciate the complexity of microbial polysaccharide biosynthesis and how this unique repertoire of processing enzymes can be exploited in vivo and in vitro. In addition, participants will obtain a sound understanding of some of the analytical methods used to characterize the products at the molecular level.
Core topics covered in the course include:
- Microbial polysaccharide biosynthesis
- Properties and applications of microbial polysaccharide
- Synthetic biology as an emerging technology for genetic engineering
- Harnessing enzymes for in vitro and in vivo polysaccharide biosynthesis
- Computational approaches for mining genomes for candidate genes
- Analytical techniques
The course will consist of lectures and break-out sessions on selected topics. In order to complete the course and obtain 5 ECTS, students additionally need to complete an assignment and present the outcome during the course. The assignments will be distributed to participating students 6 weeks before the course.
The course of free-of-charge for participants from academy.
For participants from industry a fee of €750 will be charged. In the fee, participation in the course, lunches, coffee breaks and a course dinner are included.
Registration will start in April 2022.