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Industrial biotechnology news

The Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst programme, funded by Innovate UK, BBSRC and EPSRC, has been temporarily postponed awaiting the outcome of the comprehensive spending review. Industrial biotechnology remains a priority for the three funders who continue to support it through other channels.

Scientists at the John Innes Centre have found a way to produce industrial quantities of useful natural compounds efficiently, by growing them in tomatoes. The compounds are phenylpropanoids like Resveratrol, the compound found in wine which has been reported to extend lifespan in animal studies, and Genistein, the compound found in soybean which has been suggested to play a role in prevention of steroid-hormone related cancers, particularly breast cancer.

A new partnership between two BBSRC strategically-funded institutes is sequencing the genomes of a collection of yeast strains, to help unlock the great biodiversity within them to produce biofuels and other chemicals more sustainably. The UK National Collection of Yeast Cultures (NCYC) is a world-leading biological resource at the Institute of Food Research (IFR), maintaining and supplying an extraordinarily diverse array of yeast strains for academia and industry in the UK and overseas.