Aquaculturing biochemicals for future: enable production of hydroxyl fatty acids by microbial hydratase

Project Details


Remaining to date largely unexplored, microalgae represents a sustainable source of high value biochemicals with diverse molecular structures. In collaboration with Kyoto Univ. (KU, pioneer reseracher in hydratases) and
Technical University of Denmark (DTU), this project aims to develop a set of process and production technologies to convert microalgae lipids into market-demanding high added value hydroxyl fatty acids (HFAs) via microbial
hydratase mediated biotransformation platform. Microalgae strains from European/Scandinavian countries will be collected and analyzed to identify the strains containing fatty acids with diverse molecular structures as substrate
feedstock of hydratase (DTU). Well-characterized Δ9 Hydratase from Lactobacillus plantarum (from Prof.Ogawa, partner of this project, KU) will be engineered by random mutagenesis and targeted saturation mutagenesis for
broader substrate promiscuities being capable to convert Δ5, Δ7, Δ8, 0r Δ10 etc cis-unsaturated fatty acids into corresponding HFAs (Molecular Engineering, Aarhus University, AU). In parallel, new enzymes with novel specificity will be screened from the nature in Kyoto Univ and used as new templates for mutagenesis. 2-3 Hydratases with new C=C regiospecific activities are expected to be developed. The reaction system of individual hydratase-catalyzed conversion of cis-unsaturated fatty acids will be characterized and parameterized (AU LipidBiotech). For a maximal conversion of microalgae FAs, as practical biocatalyst system an enzyme complex (mixed formulation of hydratases with different regiospecificities) incorporating wild/mutagenized hydratases, will be developed (AU). A group of new HFAs from bioconversion of microalgae oil with diverse molecular structures will be generated; which could be potentially assigned for pharmaceutical elements, biochemicals or starting
materials for biopolymers. A scale-up production of microalgae-based HFAs at pilot scale (5-10 kilos) will be implemented.

DTU Food's role is to optimize cultivation of up to 10 different species of microalgae with different fatty acid compositions.
Effective start/end date01/09/201731/12/2019