Synthetic Metabolism: Designing Photosynthesis 2.0

Tobias Erb will organize a workshop called "Synthetic Metabolism: Designing Photosynthesis 2.0" that will take place on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 in Marburg.

Photosynthesis is a fundamental process in the global carbon cycle that sustains our every day’s food and energy supply. Although photosynthesis has evolved over billions of years, it is still not perfect. Plants and other photosynthetic organisms still waste 30% of their photosynthetic energy due to inecient carbon assimilation, which strongly limits their growth. An improved photosynthesis would be of immediate benet. Today, already one in seven people is malnourished. This situation is expected to worsen as human population keeps increasing at a staggering rate. Feeding 10-15 billion people at the year 2100 is a tremendously challenging task that will only be met by the implementation of new measures to increase agricultural productivity. A fundamental new way to improve plant productivity and performance is the engineering of highly ecient carbon assimilation routes with synthetic biology. Rather than reshufing and grafting existing natural components, modern metabolic and enzyme engineering techniques enable us to design completely novel pathways for an improved carbon assimilation that were not explored by Nature. When combined in an interdisciplinary approach that spans computational biology, biochemistry, enzymology, metabolic engineering, and plant physiology, such eorts have a real chance to fundamentally transform carbon xation and enhance plant productivity. At the Workshop Designing Photosynthesis 2.0, leading scientists from the elds of enzyme engineering, metabolic retrosynthesis, cyanobacteria physiology and plant genetics will come together to discuss the limits of natural photosynthesis and devise a roadmap towards a synthetically enhanced photosynthesis.

The participation in the symposium is free, but a registration is required. Please use the link below for registration:

Organizers: Arren Bar-Even and Tobias J. Erb


Click here to see the poster

Click here to see the flyer






The FutureAgriculture consortium is funded with five million euro by the Horizon 2020 FET Open Program of the EU. The consortium aims at increasing photosynthetic productivity with synthetic biology. The interdisciplinary project started in January 2016 and involves laboratories at the Max Planck Institutes in Golm and Marburg, the Imperial College London (UK), the Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel), as well as two companies, Evogene Inc. (Israel) and IN S.r.l. (Italy).