WP1 -Freddie Theodoulou

Project Detail

WP1 -Freddie Theodoulou

Plants not only supply us with food, fuel and fibre, but also serve as a rich source of valuable chemicals, including drugs, dyes, feedstocks for industry, and flavouring and fragrance ingredients. Plants have a remarkable capacity to make many different types of chemicals, some of which are very complex and cannot easily be synthesised artificially. In the TPM Institute Strategic Programme, we will exploit this ability to produce high-value products in crops. To achieve this, we will manipulate metabolism (the chemical reactions within cells), to tailor plants to make new products and also to make higher amounts or combinations of desirable products. Through our basic research on the control of metabolic pathways (i.e. connected series of chemical reactions), we can do this in a predictable way, rather than by trial and error. We will also produce multipurpose plants that make several different useful products. Building on our expertise and informed by market research, we have chosen to focus on two groups of high-value products: (1) lipids, including oils for human and animal health and nutrition, and waxes for industrial uses such as lubricants and cosmetics; (2) phenolic glycosides, natural compounds that can be used as starting materials to make many useful chemicals, including drugs.

Scientific Theme

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