BPE-34306 Metabolic Engineering of Industrial Microorganisms


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Course coordinator(s)dr. RA Weusthuis
dr. ir. DE Martens
Lecturer(s)dr. RA Weusthuis
dr. ir. DE Martens
dr. I Sanchez Andrea
dr. M Suarez Diez
Examiner(s)dr. RA Weusthuis
dr. ir. DE Martens
dr. PJ Schaap
dr. SWM Kengen

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

BPE-Basic cell factory design and MIB-20306 Microbial Physiology.


Synthetic biology techniques are powerful and make rigorous modification of microorganisms possible and - omics techniques give us means to determine what is going on in a microorganism. So we have many tools to modify and monitor microorganisms and to use them for optimizing microbial production of chemicals. These methods however do not help us determining HOW the metabolism should be changed to optimize product formation. That's the topic of this course. The course consist of 4 parts: how product formation is linked to metabolism, how metabolism can be changed, modelling and determination of metabolic fluxes. This will be linked to challenges posed by reactor engineering, and to the possibilities and limitations of synthetic biology and - omics technology. E. coli, S. cerevisiae and algae will be used as industrial microorganisms, making products like 1,3-butanediol, succinic acid and triacylglycerides.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- explain how product formation is linked to microbial metabolism;
- design and optimize product pathways;
- make a metabolic model and evaluate the product pathway with the model;
- explain how metabolic fluxes can be determined and use the obtained data to verify the model;
- explain how metabolic engineering is linked to flanking expertise's like - omics technology, synthetic biology and reactor engineering.


- attend the lectures;
- study the syllabus;
- work on assignments (tutorials).


An open-book exam consisting of open questions about elements from the list above (75% of the grade) and a report on the case (25% of the grade). Both grades must be equal to or higher than 5.5.


Study material will be handed out during the course.

Restricted Optional for: MBTBiotechnologyMScA: Cellular/Molecular Biotechnology4WD
MBTBiotechnologyMScC: Medical Biotechnology4WD
MBTBiotechnologyMScD: Process Technology4WD