Domain Committee "Food and Agriculture (FA)"



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COST

Domain Committee "Food and Agriculture (FA)"


COST Action FA0907

Start Date 07/06/2010

End Date 06/06/2014
Yeast Flavour Production - New Biocatalysts and Novel Molecular Mechanisms Acronym: BIOFLAVOUR

Rapporteur REPORT

This Report stems from the relevant Domain Committee.

It contains eight parts:



  1. Rapporteur’s details

  2. Brief description of the activities

  3. Results versus objectives

  4. Innovative networking

  5. Inter-disciplinary networking

  6. New networking

  7. Coordination and management

  8. Strengths and weaknesses

  1. Rapporteur’s details

Peter Raspor

  1. Brief description of the activities

Among all activities one could stress in particular A special session was dedicated to the Action in the XIII Weurman Flavour Research Symposium that was held 27-30th September 2011 in Zaragoza, Spain. The session was opened with a conference by Action Chair G.M. de Billerbeck presenting the Action Network. The scientific and technical activities of the Action partners were furthermore developed through lectures, short communications and poster presentations by COST Action experts.

A Training School entitled “Metabolite profiling approaches in microorganisms and higher plants” was organized jointly by COST Actions FA0907 (BIOFLAVOUR) and FA1006 (PlantEngine) from March 19th to 22nd 2012.

The 3rd edition of the scientific meeting organized by the Action, entitled European Yeast Flavour Workshop, will take place 20-22nd June 2012 in Vevey, Switzerland. Participants from academia but also from leading industries in the field of flavour and fragrances and of yeast producers/consumers (Givaudan, Safisis, Puratos, Nestlé, Mars, Heinkeken) will attend this meeting.

A first draft of the BIOFLAVOUR Strains Database (BSD) architecture was defined and the corresponding web interface is being conceived. This collaborative web-based application is intended for browsing and mining a unique and shared computerized database mapping the many interesting but dispersed yeast strains isolated by European researchers.



  1. Results versus objectives

As stated by the ongoing and novel activities as well as by the new proposals/projects by the Network partners, there is a clear success in mainstreaming and consolidating transnational research around the objective of establishing the foundation of a biotechnology based production of natural flavour and fragrance compounds through the implementation of modern systems and synthetic biology strategies associated to tailored bioprocesses.

Advancement and promotion of scientific knowledge was also successful through links and collaborations initiated at the 1st and 2nd European Yeast Flavour Workshops organized by the Action that resulted in common research activities and publications.

The participation of Action members to a special session dedicated to the Action in the frame of the XIII Weurman Flavour Research Symposium (Zaragoza, Spain), a renowned international congress in the field of flavours and fragrances, constitutes another noteworthy result in terms of promotion and dissemination of the Action, and of the scientific results of its partners.

An important and innovative objective of this COST network is to make an inventory of the many interesting but dispersed yeast strains isolated by European researchers into a unique and shared computerized database accessible through a collaborative web-based application. A first draft of this “BIOFLAVOUR Strains Database (BSD)” architecture was defined and the corresponding web interface is being conceived.



  1. Innovative networking

Among the innovative knowledge and scientific breakthrough that resulted from COST networking through the BIOFLAVOUR Action we can cite the identification of new components involved in the regulation of the Ehrlich pathway (collaboration between Delft University of Technology and University of Nottingham, STSM Romagnoli) and the successful in vivo formation of phenylethyl glucoside that resulted from the expression of a tomato UGTase in yeast (collaboration between INSA Toulouse, Technical University München, Plant Research International and Delft University of Technology, STSM Bönisch, de Billerbeck and Schwab).

Another important scientific breakthrough is the publication of a high-quality annotated genome sequence of the yeast metabolic engineering work horse: the yeast strain CEN.PK113-7D (collaboration between Delft University, Wageningen University, Chalmers University, Goethe University and the industrial partners DSM and Amyris).



The innovative networking of the Action is also visible through the successful applications/participation of its partners to European calls (“Yeast Biodiversity as a Source of Innovations in Food and Health”, “Robustness of Yeast Strains and Bioprocesses for Industrial Production of Novel Compounds”, “Yeast Cell”) as well as through National Programmes Proposals/Projects and Collaborations with Industrial Partners.



  1. Inter-disciplinary networking

The BIOFLAVOUR Action is by definition an inter-disciplinary network that aims at implementing a multidisciplinary holistic approach, termed as Systems Microbiology from the point of view of the understanding (to gain insight into the genetic, molecular and biochemical mechanisms of flavour biosynthesis and their regulation in microbial systems), and as Synthetic Biology, from the point of view of the implementation of novel systems (to innovate in eco-efficient, sustainable and environmentally friendly bioproduction techniques). This calls for a strong investment in capacity building through collaborations between experts from different disciplines as has started among the partners of the Action thanks to the organization of scientific meetings and STSMs. The level of inter-disciplinarity is high, as attested also by the organization of the Training School entitled “Metabolite profiling approaches in microorganisms and higher plants” that was organized jointly by COST Actions FA0907 (BIOFLAVOUR) and FA1006 (PlantEngine). Altogether, such inter-disciplinary networking activities are likely to provide scientific and socio-economic impact to the Action parties.

  1. New networking

The main outcome and achievements in terms of new networking is 4 new members from countries already participating to the Action totalizing 48 members out of 72 individual participants involved in the Network. Among them, women representation is 40% and several ESR are active in research activities as well as in the organization of Action meetings and participation to the “Metabolomics” Training School that was organized jointly with Action FA1006 PlantEngine. Collaboration between a Brazilian (non-COST Country) and a French team is active, with a co-supervised PhD work defended recently. Advancement and dissemination of scientific knowledge is visible through the collaborations developed by the Action networking that resulted in peer-reviewed scientific publications as well as oral and poster communications in international congresses and chapters of books. Of particular interest was the participation of Action members to a special session dedicated to the Action, organized in the frame of the XIII Weurman Flavour Research Symposium (Zaragoza, Spain), a renowned international congress in the field of flavours and fragrances. The Action networking has also resulted in numerous activities and projects between colleagues from different COST Countries.

  1. Coordination and management

Improving the effectiveness of coordination and management is a constant and standard feature of the Action management team and improved considerably since the start was not very easy. The website still has potential to be improved. However the strain database issue is well addressed. http://www.bioflavour.insa-toulouse.fr/bsd/bsd_home.php

  1. Strengths and weaknesses

As stated by the ongoing and novel activities as well as by the new proposals/projects, there is a clear success in mainstreaming and consolidating transnational research around the objective of establishing the foundation of a biotechnology based production of natural flavour and fragrance compounds through the implementation of modern systems and synthetic biology strategies, associated to tailored bioprocesses. Advancement and promotion of scientific knowledge was also successful through links and collaborations initiated at the 1st and 2nd European Yeast Flavour Workshops organized by the Action, which resulted in common research activities and publications. The special session dedicated to the Action in the XIII Weurman Flavour Research Symposium promoted the Action activities among a broad public of academic researchers and industrial representatives that should bring benefits and impacts to the Action.

In general: The action is going on very well.

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