COST Action FA1006 -

Plant Metabolic Engineering for High Value Products (PlantEngine)

Plants produce a vast variety of chemicals for various purposes. Those "Plant Natural Products" -or PNPs- are often of special interest since they can serve as fragrances, fine chemicals or as pharmaceuticals. Chemical synthesis of the usually very complex structures is theoretical feasible but often not applicable for large-scale production at reasonable prices. Hence, plants are still in many cases the sole source for PNPs. Given that some PNPs are only produced in minute amounts or that the host plant is a slow growing or even an endangered species, there is a clear need to find ways to engineer plants to optimize the production of the "high value compounds".

Although a tremendous amount of knowledge has been gained during the last decades about the biosynthetic capacity of plants and the pathways leading to the formation of PNPs, there are still many white spots on the maps describing the biosynthetic sequences. Moreover, the regulation of those pathways in the context of environmental and developmental changes is only poorly understood.

This COST Action will support and enhance a Pan-European network which will amalgamate resources, define target pathways and prioritize compounds, disseminate novel technologies and applications, set standards for computational support, and develop synthetic approaches in plant metabolic engineering. Due to its multidisciplinary approach this Action will initiate a European network of experienced as well as early stage researchers which will serve as a base for future research collaborations. Outcomes will help guiding researchers in the design of plants as production host and provide building blocks for pathway engineering. The dialog established within the research community will involve key players in industry, stakeholders, and policy makers guaranteeing the highest momentum for the European research sector as well as the public.


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