Phytowelt News » Successful collaboration between Phytowelt and Evonik

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07/01/2010, Phytowelt Nettetal / Köln

The biotech company Phytowelt GreenTechnologies GmbH successfully collaborates with international companies such as the chemicals group, Evonik Industries, harnessing the synergy potential of interdisciplinary cooperation between microbiology and plant experts.


The biotech company Phytowelt GreenTechnologies GmbH successfully collaborates with international companies such as the chemicals group, Evonik Industries, harnessing the synergy potential of interdisciplinary cooperation between microbiology and plant experts.
Evonik has been using Phytowelt's skills since 2005 to develop innovative technologies for new products and processes. This has brought together technologies and production platforms to manufacture specialist chemicals in fermentational processes and phytomining platform technology from Phytowelt – all supported by Phytowelt's know-how on plants and plant metabolic activities. It is this linking of plant biosynthesis and microbial production processes that is opening up routes to optimise substance productionby fermentation and generate significant added value.
"Even for nitrogen fixation, the exceptional potential of plant and microbes working together is clear", says Dr. Peter Welters, CEO of Phytowelt GreenTechnologies, outlining the advantages of interdisciplinary cooperation. "Bacteria can of course fix nitrogen by themselves, but in symbiosis with plants, the efficiency increases enormously. That makes the process of beneficial for everyone. The transamination plant enzyme we have discovered has specific activity twice as high as the microbial enzymes identified at the same time", says Welters. "The generally accepted view that plant genes do not function well in micro-organisms has been refuted time and again by our work. We have shown that, without any modifications such as codon optimisation, a plant enzyme can be produced in E. coli which is then superior to the bacterial enzyme isolated from E. coli in enzyme assays. We are convinced that the potential of plants, through and in synergy with micro-organisms, has not been exhausted by a long way".
One key to the success of the project was the particularly extensive and versatile nature of plant enzymes, not simply because they represent a large number of enzyme classes, but also thanks to the characteristics of different members of investigated enzyme classes in terms of substrate specificity and reaction conditions. These can be easily applied to fermentation processes in microbial production and exploited industrially.
Following the excellent results in 2 other projects with international companies (see press releases from Phytowelt in February and May 2010), this is the third major success Phytowelt has had this year with its technology platforms phytomining and phytodiversity.
Evonik Industries and Phytowelt GreenTechnologies have been active in biotechnology for many years, including as co-initiators and founding members of CLIB2021, the industrial biotechnology cluster and winner of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research competition "BioIndustrie 2021".


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