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DNA2.0, Newcastle University Partner to Develop Expression System for B. Subtillis

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – DNA2.0 today announced a deal with Newcastle University to develop a protein expression system for Bacillus subtillis.

DNA2.0's GeneGPS gene optimization technology will be the basis for the development of enhanced gene synthesis algorithms for B. subtillis, and the two organizations will leverage their expertise in computational design and the development of bacterial strains with industrial relevance, the Menlo Park, Calif.-based firm said.

In addition to the development of the expression system for B. subtillis, the algorithms to be developed could mimic related gram positives popular in industrial technology, such as Clostridium, Lactobacillus, and Geobacillus, which share development and genetic similarities to B. subtillis, DNA2.0 said.

"As a result, the knowledge gained from optimizing the expression for [B. subtillis] promises to be more widely applicable in an industrial context," the firm said in a statement.

Anil Wipat, a professor at Newcastle's Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology and School of Computing Sciences, said that the protein expression system being developed "will not only benefit the substantial critical mass of Bacillus researchers at Newcastle but will help provide a foundational technology for the synthetic biology of this organism both in the UK at an international level."

B. subtillis is a chief production host for industrial enzyme manufacturing and a bacterial workhorse for microbial fermentations, the company noted.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.