SynBio talks at the Plant Biology 2022 Worldwide Summit | July 9-13, 2022

The first concurrent session of ASPB Plant Biology 2022 meeting on “Living Factories for Plant-Based Products” will be chaired by Catalin Voiniciuc and feature a diverse panel of speakers, contributing synbio insights from all career stages.

Invited Speakers:

  • Emma Walker (Western University)
  • Jaya Joshi (Concordia University)
  • Britney Moss (Whitman College)
  • Steven Burgess (University of Illinois)
  • Dae-Kyun Ro (University of Calgary)

Plants and microorganisms produce a wide range of products that are at the cornerstone of our lives, ranging from small molecules with therapeutic applications to polymers for food, feed, biomaterials, biofuels or carbon sequestration. Although some cells accumulate compounds that are of great industrial interest, their biosynthetic pathways have been historically challenging to elucidate and modify. Leveraging advances in synthetic biology, plant metabolism can now be tuned with unprecedented fidelity and speed.  Moreover, a variety of surrogate hosts such as yeast have become instrumental to reconstitute plant natural product and signaling pathways and to engineer new derivatives. These enabling technologies are providing answers to fundamental questions about biology and open new avenues for the bioengineering of plant-based molecules and materials.

We hope that you can join us virtually or in person in Portland, Oregon.

Conference website:

Designer Glycans, live at PCWB2021

The Designer Glycans lab is represented by four members (Catalin, Annika, Bo, and Madalen) at the 7th International Conference on Plant Cell Wall Biology (PCWB2021). Originally scheduled to take place in Sapporo, Japan last year, this meeting is now in a digital format to accommodate a global audience from June 27 to July 1, 2021.

We are happy to see many international colleagues from the plant cell wall biology field and present our latest unpublished results in two posters (Bo and Annika) and one talk (Madalen) during this exciting meeting.

Annika presents our latest finding on the biodiversity of heteromannan-producing enzymes from across the plant kingdom.

To prioritize enzymes to be characterized in planta, Annika is leveraging the power of our yeast expression system for heteromannan production: and

Madalen will talk about the modular engineering of cellulose-synthase like enzymes and the development of new carbohydrate-binding probes for non-invasive heteromannan detection.

Novel probes are required to monitor the dynamics of plant polysaccharides in a high-throughput. Limitations of current tools were discussed in this review:

Bo present novel microtubule-related players that modulate of cellulose deposition around the surface of Arabidopsis seeds. This projects stems from a collaboration with Katharina Bürstenbinder at IPB Halle.

The new mutants are reminiscent of the published trm4 seed phenotypes, which Bo and Catalin previously worked on:

We will look forward to many engaging discussions during PCWB2021.