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Syngulon develops antibiotic-free technologies for use in so-called “micro-refineries”, microbial cells that have been engineered to produce industrially relevant compounds. These technologies incorporate bacteriocins into the biofermentation process by two applications:
Selection for the desired producing microbe.
Prevention of contamination, by undesired mutants or external microbes.
In both cases, clients using our systems for both selection and prevention have observed an increase in product yield.
Syngulon’s technology expands the capacity for selection of microorganisms. The ability to select individual microbes with a behavior of interest is essential, whether for simple cloning at the bench, or for industry-scale production. Synthetic biology uses the concept of “bioengineering” to improve or modify existing genetic systems to create microbes with desired behaviors, and Syngulon uses this approach to develop its selection technologies.
This selection technology (US patents 9,333,227/10,188,114) is based on bacteriocins, ribosomally-produced peptides naturally made by most bacteria to kill competitive microbial species. These bacteriocins can have a limited or wide target range against other microbial species. This technology offers advantageous over antibiotic selection for several reasons: it avoids the use of antibiotics in the first place, helping to reduce the spread of antibiotic resistant microbes. The technology also increases product yield; as bacteriocins are generally smaller peptides, they do not impose a heavy metabolic burden on the producing cell. They can have a wide target specificity, helping to avoid genetic drift. Finally, our system is 100% plasmid-based (e.g. without chromosomal mutations), making it applicable for use in any E. coli strains.
Indeed, customers using this technology have observed an improvement in product yield. The presentation demonstrates the production of “Protein X”, a product made by a Syngulon customer using our selection system vs production of the same protein using kanamycin as a selectable marker. We have also demonstrated that “Protein X” production is increased in industrial fermentation conditions.
Poster presented at PEGS 2018 The Essential Protein Engineering Summit in Boston, MA (USA)
This presentation outlines Syngulon’s bacteriocin-based selection technology for selecting recombinant proteins in a biofermenter. It outlines our intellectual property (US Patent 9,333,227 and a second recently filed patent). Importantly, it shows actual results for a current client demonstrating an increase in the production of a 40 kDA recombinant protein (Protein X) not only at a final concentration, but also temporally. This shows that our system not only removes the use of antibiotics for selection, but also increases desired protein yield.
Presentation on “Bacteriocins applications for the development of new genetic control of microbial strains in industrial fermentation” at BIOKET 2018 in Strasbourg, France
This presentation outlines similar information to the first, but goes into greater detail regarding Syngulon’s philosophy, as well as detailing bacteriocin genetic and chemical structure, in vivo and in vitro synthesis, and shows results of bacteriocin activity. It presents Syngulon’s R&D project with Tereos, the leading producer of sugar in France and third in the world.