Tool & strain development

Tool development

Only 1 % of the existing microbial variability is currently ‘captured’, i.e. microbial strains have been ‘domesticated’ for production and/or molecular modification. The uncaptured complexity and wealth represent a multitude of biotechnological opportunities. strives to domesticate microbial strains with great intrinsic potential to enable the transformation of these interesting bugs into microbial cell factories.

Molecular tool development for strains like Starmerella bombicola, Pseudohyphozyma bogoriensis, Saccharomyces cerevisiaeEscherichia coli, etc. was achieved, resulting in a range of patent applications and numerous A1 papers.

Typical activities:

  • Development of transformation and selection systems
  • Development of reporter systems
  • Development of episomal and genome integrating systems (high/low copy, chromosome localisation libraries)
  • Development of parts libraries (promotor, RBS/Kozak, terminator, insulator, …)
  • Development of -omic methods for high throughput analysis
  • Development of easy and straightforward genetic engineering methods


Strain development/Metabolic engineering

Once molecular tool development has delivered some initial molecular tools, (exotic) strains can be modified and adapted to be transformed into real microbial cell factories. Additional molecular tools will become available allowing more advanced metabolic engineering, once proof of concept for domestication of a new strain has been delivered.

Moreover, at, domesticated bugs are exploited to construct and introduce entire novel pathways towards interesting molecules like human milk oligosaccharides or new to nature active glycolipids. State of the art analytic techniques like UPLC-ELSD, LC-MS, GC-MS and NMR are used to identify, characterize and quantify the new molecules. Over the years, the laboratory has developed a strong track record in metabolic engineering of both conventional production hosts, such as Escherichia coli, Pichia pastoris and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, by applying state-of-the-art technology, and unconventional prokaryotic hosts, such as Citrobacter werkmanii, and eukaryotic hosts such as the yeasts Starmerella bombicola and Pseudohyphozyma bogoriensis and the fungus Myrothecium gramineum.


  • Starmerella bombicola
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Escherichia coli
  • Pseudohyphozyma bogoriensis
  • Citrobacter werkmanii


For more details or if you are interested in a cooperation, please contact us.