I-Corps Program: Commercialization of robust, reliable production platforms for high value terpenes

  • Chappell, Joseph (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


The proposed innovation here is a technology platform for the renewable and environmentally- sound production of the isoprenoid (specifically, triterpenoid) compounds squalene and botryococcene and their related derivatives. Squalene is produced by all higher organisms as it is the precursor to sterols while botryococcene (and the derivatives of both of these compounds) are only produced in nature by the green algae, Botryococcus braunii. Our production platforms are genetically modified yeast lines and plants which have been engineered to produce high levels of these compounds. These triterpenoids have many potential uses: in vaccines as immunogenic adjuvants, nutritional supplements, cooking oil stabilizers, machine lubricants, and petrochemical feedstocks. The developed plant lines can accumulate high levels of these compounds within oilseeds (or leaves), facilitating their extraction using existing seed oil separation. The production methods utilized here are meeting a market need for non-animal produced, high-quality squalene and related compounds. Keywords: biotechnology, genetic engineering, metabolic engineering, squalene, botryococcene, isoprenoid, terpene, triterpene, adjuvant, antioxidant, yeast, oilseed
Effective start/end date1/1/176/30/18


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