ACS Podcast Interview with Synbio Researcher – University of Copenhagen

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21 June 2013

ACS Podcast Interview with Synbio Researcher

Postdoc Agnieszka Zygadlo Nielsen was selected by the ACS Synthetic Biology editors to be interviewed for the journal's monthly podcast. In the interview she explains the implications of her groundbreaking work: Proving the concept of using the energy of photosynthesis to drive the synthesis of bioactive natural compounds. This can potentially lead to sustainable solar-driven production of rare medicinal drugs, biomaterials and biofuels. 

The interview was evolving around the Agnieszka Zygadlo Nielsen's front-page paper in this month's ACS Synthetic Biology, which has shown that it is possible to move a complete biosynthetic pathway consisting of cytochrome P450 enzymes from one compartment of the plant cell (the endoplasmatic reticulum) to the chloroplast. The advantage of this is to let the energy-demanding P450 enzymes receive their energy directly from the photosynthetic molecular machinery present in the chloroplast.

Although this is done with a the biosynthetic pathway of a common defensive compound, the cyanogenic glucoside dhurrin, the result is a proof of concept. Now, the biosynthetic pathways of e.g. rare and high value compounds with known medicinal properties will be attempted transferred to the chloroplast in a similar manner. 

Listen to the full interview here: