Engineering Biology
Food & Agriculture Challenge:

Increase and improve the nutritional content and value of food.

Increase the nutrient content in agricultural crops.

Engineering Biology Objectives & Technical Achievements

Improve the quantity and quality of seed proteins and proteins from vegetative plant tissues.

Engineering DNA Biomolecular Engineering Host Engineering Data Science

Increase expression of proteins with desired amino acid content by introducing engineered genetic parts (including promoters and peptide tags).

Modulate seed-specific pathway genes to enhance protein accumulation in seed without impacting germination.

Design novel proteins that incorporate important amino acids that can be expressed in seed or improve protein solubility.

De novo, model-based creation of proteins with high nutritional value.

Introduce proteins of high nutritional value into plant tissue.

Model protein and oil flux in the seed to ensure optimal accumulation.

Produce better models of important proteins to understand where protein quality can be improved.

Increase bioavailability of proteins through engineering structure, amino acid composition, and removing anti-nutritive factors.

Engineering DNA Biomolecular Engineering Host Engineering Data Science

Edit plant protein sequences to increase digestibility through changes to structure and amino acid content or reduce expression of anti-nutritive factors.

Design new proteins to increase content of rare or needed amino acids and/or enhanced solubility.

Eliminate aspects of pathways that produce anti-nutritive factors that do not impact plant growth.

Introduce or modulate pathways and feedback loops that play a role in protein degradation and amino acid scavenging.

Enable (increased) production of beneficial fatty acids and digestible fiber in staple crops.

Engineering DNA Biomolecular Engineering Host Engineering Data Science

Knockout genes/pathways that divert carbon away from fatty acid (FA) production in plants.

Reduce lignin biosynthesis in crops.

Improve enzymatic properties of proteins involved in conversion of FAs to long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) to increase production and accumulation in plants.

Develop more effective enzymes that can reduce lignin content in crops.

Introduce pathways or novel enzymes from heterologous systems that are missing in plants to convert FAs into omega-3 or omega-6 LC-PUFAs.

Integrate and/or replace poorly perfoming or less desireable pathway enzymes.

Overexpress lignin-degradation enzyme(s) under an inducible promoter.

Last updated: June 19, 2019 Back