TBI, TWB and the LGC pool their expertise in enzyme and strain engineering and process engineering for the benefit of the BioImpulse project

par Anne-laure Sallanon | 17 March 2021

TBI*, a joint research unit, and TWB*, a joint service unit, both under the tutelage of INRAE, INSA Toulouse and the CNRS, are helping develop new sustainable ways to produce enzymes and microbes by delivering alternative biological solutions that are innovative and cost-effective. As partners of the BioImpulse project, their challenge is to prepare a new generation of strain of microorganism that can synthesize the biobased molecule on which the project has set its sights, in particular by exploring the use of a type 2G biomass. The LGC* (an INP Toulouse, UPS and CNRS joint research unit), one of the project’s service providers, is contributing its expertise in process engineering for the purification stages. In addition, TWB is coordinating all the actions of the three units.

More detail about the role of each structure is given below:

  • At TWB, 16 people are involved in designing, preparing and validating a new strain of microorganism that will be used to produce the biobased molecule. The team combines expertise in modelling, the design of metabolic pathways, analytics, and the engineering of strains and culture processes. It is using TWB automated platforms to develop an original and efficient strain. It is also working on a novel system to trace the molecule via biological labelling.

  • At TBI, 10 people are involved in the project. Their role is twofold: optimise the enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of the target molecule using engineering, modelling and protein design techniques by drawing on the expertise of the catalysis and enzymatic molecular engineering team and the engineering and screening for original enzymes (ICEO) platform; and characterise the production strains through metabolic flux analysis on the METATOUL metabolomics and fluxomics platform.

  • At the LGC, five people are involved at two levels in the value chain to, on the one hand, develop the processes that will be used to extract and purify the target molecule and, on the other hand, carry out a systemic review to optimise the sequencing of operations in the production process.

*TBI: Toulouse Biotechnology Institute – TWB: Toulouse White Biotechnology – LGC: Laboratoire de Génie Chimique