Industrial Biotechnology & Bio-Energy
DNA research in energy and industry offer important societal benefits, from more efficient and environmentally friendly fuels, to microbes engineered to consume toxic wastes. Codon Devices' technology is helping advance these efforts in several areas.
Enzymes. Develop enzymes with improved properties, including stability, specificity, and catalytic efficiency.
In the development of industrial enzymes, the emphasis is on the lowest possible cost of goods and on the highest possible stability, enzymatic activity, and specificity under reactor conditions. Even small improvements in enzyme properties can translate into a large increase in profitability, so optimizing the sequence of each candidate industrial enzyme is critical.
Codon Devices' ability to synthesize thousands of site-directed mutants of the enzyme makes it practical to pursue new optimization strategies. For example, if little prior information is available, an exhaustive mutation-scanning library can be generated that contains each possible single mutant of the enzyme (with all nineteen substitutions in each position). When the location of the active site is known, enzymatic activity and specificity can be manipulated by mutating several active-site positions simultaneously, excluding combinations predicted to be unfavorable by computational methods or sequence mining.
Either approach provides significantly more information per sample assayed than traditional alanine scanning or random mutagenesis.
Cell factories. Engineer cell lines to produce large amounts of specialty and commodity chemicals from renewable feed stocks.
Codon's ability to construct, manipulate, and modify genetic material on a large scale can significantly reduce the time to needed optimize a host strain for a particular purpose. Knock-ins, knock-outs, and wholesale re-writes of host genomes can be performed. Large libraries of host cells with defined genomes can be constructed and selected or screened for those that best meet a criterion of interest.