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Development of a microbial platform for the production of industrial enzymes

Grant number: 20/13845-2
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: December 01, 2021 - August 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Molecular Genetics and Genetics of Microorganisms
Principal researcher:Lucas Salera Parreiras
Grantee:Lucas Salera Parreiras
Company:Apexzymes Biotecnologia Ltda
CNAE: Pesquisa e desenvolvimento experimental em ciências físicas e naturais
Atividades profissionais, científicas e técnicas não especificadas anteriormente
City: Holambra
Pesquisadores principais:
Lucas Miranda Fonseca
Assoc. researchers: Alexandre Antunes Parreiras Bastos


The demand for industrial enzymes has grown steadily in recent decades. Among the factors responsible for this growth are the expanding range of applications of these biocatalysts and the growing need for materials and products that may enable sustainable economic growth from an environmental point of view. In this context, technologies for the production of enzymes on an industrial scale have become an important economic asset. Currently, the global enzyme market is valued at approximately US$ 5 billion per year, with Brazil playing a lead role as one of the fastest growing consumer markets. However, the participation of Brazilian companies in this sector is virtually nil, as it is dominated by a small number of foreign companies. This research project proposes the development of a domestic technology for the production of enzymes used in the food industry. For this purpose, a filamentous fungus will be genetically modified to develop an enzyme hyperproducer strain. Among the main technical-scientific obstacles to be overcome for the successful completion of this project are (i) the implementation of an efficient method for the genetic manipulation of the microorganism which does not compromise the freedom to operate (FTO) of the developed platform, (ii) the identification of genetic modifications that combined may significantly increase the enzymatic production of the microorganism and which are not protected by intellectual property, (iii) the efficient production of an enzyme utilized in the food industry. In order to demonstrate the overcoming of the above challenges and the consequent technical feasibility of the proposed project, will be established as specific goals for this first phase of the PIPE program the development of a fungal platform capable of producing at least 4 g/L of an enzyme with application in the food industry. The achievement of the proposed goals and the eventual application of the developed technology for the production of enzymes on an industrial scale will enable the entry of a Brazilian company into an important and so far unexplored market. In addition to reducing the country's dependence on the importation of enzymes, the development of a domestic production technology has the potential to reduce costs and enable the production of products that meet the specific demands of the country, benefiting the Brazilian society as a whole. (AU)

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