Recapturing lost crop value: multifaceted synthetic biology for next generation lignin valorisation

Project dates: 01/04/2020 - Ongoing

Lignin is the material that gives plants their structural rigidity and it is made from complex network of chemical structures that would be valuable for chemical manufacturing. However, lignin is extremely difficult to break down and in most cases lignin-containing crop waste is incinerated. Lignin typically accounts for 20-35% of plant mass, meaning that a lot of value could be recovered from crop waste if we can find ways to efficiently break lignin down into its individual chemical components. This project aims to explore synthetic biology approaches (particularly engineered enzymes and microorganisms) to aid in lignin deconstruction.

Funding / Grants

  • QUT, CSIRO SynbioFSP

Chief Investigators