Team:RPI Troy NY

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Welcome to Team RPI_TROY_NY 2017!

Our Project
Sophorolipids are a yeast-derived (Starmerella bombicola), non-toxic and biodegradable alternative to conventional petroleum-derived surfactants and detergents. Currently, the main barrier to commercial production is the cost of isolating and refining sophorolipids of useful chain length. Sophorolipid production competes with the beta-oxidation pathway in yeast for fatty acid substrates, thus lowering yield and producing a mixture of products. The enzyme MFE-2 is a critical component of the beta oxidation pathway. Through genetic engineering, we aim to selectively repress active domains of this enzyme with the intent of increasing the yield of sophorolipid product. By employing a repression technique rather than a full knockout of the gene, the stress on the yeast metabolism may be reduced.

Our research was formally recognized with a Bronze Medal award at the 2017 iGEM Giant Jamboree.