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Project description:

Project no:
Combining of nature’s best: Exploration of bacterial systems and their biotechnological progression for utilization of lignocellulose and it´s components
1st project leader:
Hausmann, Rudolf - University of Hohenheim· Institute of Food Science and Biotechnology · Department of Bioprocess Engineering
2nd project leader
Lilge, Lars - University of Hohenheim, Institute of Food Science and Biotechnology, Department of Bioprocess Engineering (150k), Fruwirthstr. 12, 70599 Stuttgart
The bacterial production of biotechnological useful substances from difficult utilizable carbon sources is one of the most prominent task for the global growing bio-economy. Therefore, screening of promising strains builds the fundament for identification of novel high-efficient strategies to convert natural complex carbon sources like lignocellulose and its different components. Based on established tools for molecular engineering, especially representatives of the Bacillus species become the focus of attention. In this way, engineered bacteria are able to increase the range of biotechnological useful products. Accordingly, novel strains need to be improved in different aspects, like modulation of metabolic pathways, reduction of unpreferred by-products and insertions of additional enzymatically features. Consequently, the aim is the construction of a fine-tuned bacterial bio-factory for optimal substrate-to-product transformation.

The Department of Bioprocess Engineering at the University of Hohenheim combines the great topics of “Bioprocessing” and “Strain Engineering”. In this way, problem-oriented strains are designed by genetically modifications and are applied in bioreactor-based processes. This expertise forms a basis for ideal research about bioconversion of renewable substrates.
Cui et al., 2018 “Exploitation of Bacillus subtilis as a robust workhorse for production of heterologous proteins and beyond.” doi: 10.1007/s11274-018-2531-7

Wu et al., 2016 “Metabolic Engineering Strategies for Co-Utilization of Carbon Sources in Microbes.” doi: 10.3390/bioengineering3010010

Rhee et al., 2016 “Metabolic potential of Bacillus subtilis 168 for the direct conversion of xylans to fermentation products.” doi: 10.1007/s00253-015-7124-x . Epub 2015 Nov 12.

Methods that will be used:
- Cultivation of bacterial strains for bio-degradation of lignocellulose-derived carbon sources

- Bioprocess engineering for optimal biomass yield

- Analytics of sugars, organic acids, biosurfactants, byproducts (HPTLC, enzyme assays)

- Bacterial strain genotyping, bioinformatical analysis of genome sequences

- Methods for strain engineering: PCR analyses, plasmid construction, site-directed mutagenesis, gene deletion, protein overexpression, horizontal gene transfer, etc.
Collaboration partners:
Dr. Ilesanmi Fadahunsi, Department of Microbiology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Dr. Jens Pfannstiel, Computational Science Lab, Mass Spectrometry Unit, University Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany
Expected candidate‘s qualification:
Language skills: The candidate is competent in spoken and written English (equal to B2 level or higher according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, CEF)

Scientific qualifications: Degree in molecular biology, microbiology, biotechnology, or equivalent degree. Lab experience in strain engineering and characterization. The candidate needs a fundamental knowledge about bacterial physiology.

Optional skills: Experience about lab work with Bacillus strains
Strain screening, Metabolic Engineering, Gene transfer, Protein remodelling, Bioprocess Engineering, Molecular biology