Research Programs and Projects
The main objective of INCT-BioSyn is to study and prospect biological resources of plants and microorganisms; produce integrated and dynamic databases for constructing parts, circuits, and metabolic pathways for biological systems engineering; generate technological platforms of biodiversity assets.
Objectives include: (I) Study, collect and characterize native and cultivated plants and microorganisms; (II) Generate integrated genome, transcriptome, and metabolome databases of biological resources; (II) Annotate, integrate and construct parts, pieces and metabolic pathways for engineering the function of biological systems; (IV) Develop synthetic biology technologies; (V) Design, synthesize and build minimal genomes; (VI) Generate technological platforms for the development of biotechnological products and add value to biodiversity and contribute to the conservation of natural resources.
The knowledge acquired will serve as the basis for the design and construction of synthetic cells, capable of performing specific functions safely and with more efficient energy expenditure.
In addition, the INCT-BioSyn consortium will contribute as a pillar of research and development of the National Biotechnology Plan.
Foundation of the INCT-BioSyn:
Sample collection and characterization of biological resources;
Data generation and integrated large-scale analyses of microorganisms and plants;
Build R-bions, bio-parts, bio-circuits and metabolic pathways for genome edition and engineering to generate and test new hypotheses about genes and protein function in biological systems;
Development of biotechnological platforms;
Generation of molecular "chassis" of model species such as soybean and corn, and new bacterial systems for gene function engineering, metabolic pathway engineering, development of biotechnological active substances, and aggregation of value to biodiversity.
Capacity building, young scientists training; Technological platform consolidation and service provision within the INCT network Technological platform. Popularization and vulgarization of Science and Biosynthetic technologies: interactions with science museums, social media and discussion groups on legal, ethical and social impacts of science and technology Bioethics and biosafety regulations; access to biodiversity and benefit sharing.
International collaboration in the consortia “Build a Cell” (https://www.buildacell.org/) and “GP-Write” (https://engineeringbiologycenter.org/).
Metabolic engineering of water deficit in soybean (Glycine max). Utilize the CRISPR/Cas9 system to generate G. max mutants in genes candidates related to drought tolerance; Evaluate the silenced genes function in the process of tolerance and response of plants to drought; Utilize CRISPR activators and RFNs activators to increase expression of genes previously identified as important in the process of tolerance / response of G. max plants to drought; Test the germination or vegetative propagation of the savanna native plants in laboratory conditions and simulate the experimental treatment in the greenhouse to select candidate(s) to search for genes; Perform transcriptome and metabolome to identify genes and metabolites related to water deficit/drought tolerance in selected native plant(s); Expression of the heterologous genes in G. max previously identified in native plants of the savanna through synthetic mini-chromosome, in order to express the biosynthesis pathway related to drought tolerance in G. max plants sensitivity to stress
Bárbara França Dantas
Carolina Vianna Morgante
Clara Beatriz Hoffmann Campo
Liliane Márcia Mertz Henning
Saulo de Tarso Aidar
Maria Cristina de Oliveira Neves
Industrial-scale production of ethanol in Brazil is not a sterile process and the pure cultures of S. cerevisiae used to inoculate the bioreactors rapidly become contaminated by other yeast and bacteria. During the ethanol production season, the population of organisms in the reactor undergoes complex changes and often the starting S. cerevisae population is outcompeted by wild yeast. The full complexity and dynamics of the microbial population present in a Brazilian industrial fermentation plant is not known because previous studies have relied on low-throughput methods for strain isolation and diversity analysis. Our ultimate goal is to understand population dynamics and the effect of contaminating bacteria and yeast on S. cerevisiae ethanol productivity.
Genome edition and genetic circuits should contribute to increase precision and accelerate metabolic engineering directing gene regulation into plant cells. create cellular networks that integrate input signals for decision making and actuation. Create artificial logic gates and memory devices and implementations of cellular logic and complex gates required the layering of genetic circuits. Utilization of synthetic recombinase-based systems for integrating combinatorial logic and memory in living cells. Engineer oil and protein metabolism pathway of plant-based foods will have significant impacts in the productive sectors and sustainability. Plant metabolism composition is determined by a genetic network mediated by conversion of photosynthesis-inducing conversion of carbon and nitrogen into protein, oil and carbohydrates.
Eduardo de Oliveira Melo
Felipe Rodrigues da Silva
Luiz Alberto Colnago
Shirley Ann Tousch Graham
Yeast Synthetic Biology for the production of molecules of biotechnological interest. Our research is focus on the development of molecular tools (plasmids for gene expression/genomic editing and artificial chromosomes) for Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Pichia pastoris in order to perform synthetic biology projects in these yeast platforms. The end products include biopharmaceuticals, biofuels and other biotechnologically relevant metabolites.
Fernando Araripe Gonçalves Torres
Lidia Maria Pepe de Moraes
Janice Lisboa De Marco
Our program is aim at creating a deeper understanding of the amazon biodiversity with the use of molecular tools. We seed to describe biodiversity through DNA barcoding and in cases where greater resolution is needed we deploy full genomics sequencing. We also evaluate the genetic distribution of selected species using landscape genomics tools and study adaptive mechanisms of plants to the different environments with functional genomics approaches. We are also developing a detailed view of the microbiota of different amazon regions with metagenomics approaches. All experimental studies are supported with by bioinformatics and computational biology tools.
José Augusto Bittencourt
Metabolic studies and production of bioactive compounds of high added value in genetically modified organisms. Metabolic and bioactive compound studies will consist of the chemical characterization of genetically modified plants with emphasis on the identification and/or quantification of secondary metabolites, using a modern approach of dereplication that combines the use of sophisticated spectrometric techniques (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy), and high resolution mass spectrometry) with chemometric methods, coupled with the aid of powerful data bases.
Kirley Marques Canuto
Lorena Mara Alexandre e Silva
Paulo Riceli Vasconcelos Ribeiro
Nanobiotechnology and 3D Biofactory. The team associated with this research program is interested on frontiers of nanobiotechnology, including the evaluation of the characteristics of biological structures on nanoscale aiming the development of micro- and nanosystems; development of liposomal, lipid, metal and polymer micro- and nanosystems obtained by green synthesis routes aiming delivery of bioactives and immobilization of molecules; development of functional surfaces applicable to active food packaging, edible films, bioremediation systems, nanobiosensors, nanocatalysts, biomimetic, and nanoforensics; tests for evaluating the nanotoxicity and nanoecotoxicity in vitro and in vivo; digital manufacturing by additive manufacturing, subtractive manufacturing, reverse engineering, and 3D bioprinting of biological scaffolds; implementation of systems for industrial scaling-up, waste management, impact assessment, mathematical modeling, and sustainability of nanobiotechnology processes.
Luciano Paulino Silva
Augusto Fernandes Vellozo
Cínthia Caetano Bonatto
Ivy Garcez Reis
Paulo Vieira Milreu
Metabolic engineering of yeasts applied to the production of high added value chemicals
Brazil is known for its vast abundance in biomass. Among those sugar cane and soya are top crops utilized for the production of ethanol e biodiesel respectively. Nevertheless those types of biomass may be also utilized for the production of various chemicals such as bioplastics, biosurfactants and other biopolymers such as hyaluronic acid. Therefore research efforts have turned into developing microorganism strains able to convert raw material into those polymers. The ideal microorganism should convert the raw material and produce the desired polymer in high yield and rate. Yeasts are unicellular microorganisms usually adapted to the harsh industrial environment. They often need genetic manipulation in order to achieve a scalable and economically viable process. Thus research efforts have turned into choosing the appropriate yeast specie for the production of specific biopolymers, genetically engineer them and finally make sure that the fermentation mode matches both industry demand.
Nadia Skorupa Parachin
Talita Souza Carmo
Global climate change is increasingly challenge to agricultural production and food security worldwide. Heat, drought and their interaction have had historically great influence on global crop yields. Modification of mitochondrial function is a potential target for enhancing crop yield and tolerance to various stresses. This particular BioSyn program aims the editing of regulatory and coding sequences to modify the function of maize various genes involved with the response and adaptation to abiotic stresses associated with climate change, with a focus on mitochondrial biogenesis and metabolism.
Geraldo M. A.,
Isabel R. Gerhardt
Márcio J. da Silva,
Juliana E C. Teixeira
Joice M Bariani
Luiz A F Barbosa
Construction of a knowledge base supported in genomic technologies. Sample collection and characterization of biological resources; Genome sequencing of Brachiaria species will be useful as platforms for engineering of gene function based on synthetic biology and genome edition
André Southernman Teixeira Irsigler
Diva Maria de Alencar Dusi,
Glaucia Salles Cortopassi Buso
Julio Carlyle Macedo Rodrigues
Orzenil Bonfim da Silva Junior
Roberto Coiti Togawa
Develop and optimize synthetic multi-antigen epitopes for use in diagnosis of Chagas' disease, leishmaniosis, and HIV; Optimize aptamers (DNA fragments or synthetic RNA selected by their 3D structure interaction with haptens or antigens as an alternative to the use of monoclonal antibodies) for diagnostics, to capture and target enrichment system, and the development of new cancer therapies; Development and optimization of synthetic antibodies or mini-antibodies. In a first approach the group intends to develop and express Fv fragments off the therapeutic antibody Rituximab in the form of scFv that are stable in solution for long periods, four the optimization and demonstration the principle. Develop prototype vaccine of H1N1 influenza virus and H3N2 subtypes using reverse genetics to promote mutations that suppress the pathogenicity determinants as hemagglutinin cleavage sites; Develop prototype vaccine of influenza virus H1N1 and H3N2 subtypes using reverse genetics to promote the segments of neuraminidase mutations that increase proliferation of the viruses in cell culture for vaccine production; Utilize synthetic biology to fully construct the hemagglutinin and neuraminidase viral segments carrying mutations of interest without the use of viral matrix; Evaluate the immunogenicity and safety of these viruses generated by reverse mutation and synthetic biology through humoral and cellular immune responses induced by vaccination with virus generated Evaluate the protection of vaccinated animals challenged through infections with viruses generated
Ana Maria Mazotto de Almeida
Gilvan Pessoa Furtado
Isabelle Freire Tabosa Viana
Mariana Caldas Waghabi,
Marcos Luiz Barros
Marcos Roberto Lourenzoni
Mateus Gomes de Godoy
Nidiane Dantas Reis Prado