Team:NYU New York

NYU iGEM 2019
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Flavonoids, a large group of plant compounds, have broad applications ranging from therapeutics and food industry to dyes and cosmetics. Established methods to for flavonoid production in industry involve plant extraction or organic chemical synthesis, resulting in high costs and massive amounts of environmentally-toxic substances. The global flavonoids market is projected to reach $1.06 billion by 2025, providing motivation for novel methods of flavonoid synthesis. The NYU International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) team aims to metabolically engineer pathways for recombinant flavonoid production in to virtually eliminate waste and synthesize flavonoids more efficiently. Central to our synthesis methods is the use of optogenetic gene regulation; optogenetics has recently been validated as a viable method for efficient metabolic engineering. Due to the breadth of flavonoids produced from naringenin, metabolic pathways can be combined and edited to produce a wide array of commercially relevant products. The team has validated the production of naringenin and is working to produce flavonoids using a prototype bioreactor; the performance of the “photo-bioreactor” is under analysis. The results of this work may be applicable to the global flavonoids market as a viable alternative to current synthesis methods.