Study of the molecular and genetic background of the carotenoid biosynthesis and its regulation in carotenoid producing fungi. Recombinant strain improvement to modify the producing capacity and carotenoid composition. Development of genetic transformation systems and molecular methods to manipulate the genome of the producing organisms. Identification and characterization of new carotenoid sources in the fungal group Mucorales. Elaboration and optimization of new methods for the analysis of the carotenoid content and production.
Main fields of research:
Analysis of the genes playing role in the isoprenoid and carotenoid biosynthetic pathways.
Expression studies with biosynthetic genes from heterologous origin in M. circinelloides and in related species.
Development of carotene super-producing M. circinelloides strains by means of the over-expression of the non-specific mevalonate-isoprenoid biosynthetic pathway.
Introduction of heterologous genes into M. circinelloides in order to achieve the production of oxygenated b-carotene derivatives (e.g. astaxanthin, canthaxanthin, zeaxanthin and other xanthophylls).