Mycoprotein 2.0

Project Lead

Dr. Richard Harrison

People Working on Project

Dr. Helen Bates

Fiona Wilson

Project description

The production of high quality protein with a low carbon footprint is essential to future global food security.  This project aims to understand the controls of secondary metabolism in Fusarium venenatum, the organism used in the production of mycoprotein under the brand name Quorn ®, with the objectives of disabling production of deleterious secondary metabolites and generating improved strains for production of nutritionally enhanced mycoprotein.

Specific objectives are to:

1) Structurally resolve the genome of Fusarium venenatum to facilitate annotation of primary and secondary metabolism;

2) Develop tools for rational strain design using CRISPR deletion, point mutagenesis and dCas9 for suppression of gene expression and a range of codon-optimised fluorescent reporters for monitoring pathway activation status;

3) Carry out clustering analysis of gene expression data in wildtype and knockout lines to identify regulatory pathways controlling global and pathway-specific expression in response to different carbon sources;

4) Remove deleterious secondary metabolite biosynthesis by genome engineering;

5) Control and enhance selected components of primary and secondary metabolism, specifically vitamin biosynthesis, by environmental manipulation through an understanding of new pathway specific transcription networks.

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