Biotechnology of Natural Products
Research Group (DQAN BPN) - Biotechnology for improving our life.
In the post-genomic area the limited understanding of the metabolic pathways underlying the biosynthesis of secondary compounds in plants still impedes progress in biotechnological approaches in plants but also in microorganisms and molecular breeding strategies. The main focus of the BPN group is to bring together metabolomic and genomic data in order to identify novel gene functions and to construct plant metabolite pathway networks (gene-to-metabolite approach) involved in the biosynthesis of key metabolites. Such fundamental findings will enable the development of superior plant varieties by biotechnological approaches and molecular markers to directly support breeding programmes. Metabolite flux is therefore of major interest and is essential in metabolic network modelling, where it undergoes enzymatic analysis. Novel gene functions will be characterised by recombinant protein biotechnology in vitro, in vivo and in planta. Furthermore, this new knowledge will also enable the design and development of modules for combinatorial biosynthesis platforms of natural compounds which have high potential and demand in pharmaceutical (phytopharmaca, nutraceuticals) and food (additives, supplements) industries.