Two PhD-students from BOKU VIBT, Thomas Gaßler and Bernhard Schmelzer (acib), working group Mattanovich/Gasser/Sauer, were awarded Poster Prizes at RPP10 in Crete (GR).

Thomas Gaßler, BOKU-DBT, was awarded 1st Poster Prize for his work on "A synthetic Calvin cycle enables autotrophic growth in the yeast Pichia pastoris”.

In this work, artificial autotrophy was created by metabolic engineering in an originally methylotrophic yeast. The strategy for the production of these novel yeast strains was implemented by using a proprietary CRISPR/Cas9 based approach. After the engineering yeast strains use CO2 as their only carbon source, while methanol serves as energy source. The integration of CO2 has been investigated by various experiments on growth as well as by a labeling experiment with stable isotopes.
Thomas Gaßler is PhD student of the international PhD programme in protein biotechnology (BioToP), funded by FWF and BOKU. Prof. Diethard Mattanovich, Priv.Doz. Michael Sauer and Dr. Matthias Steiger are his supervisors.

Bernhard Schmelzer, acib GmbH, won the 2nd Poster Prize for his work on "Identification of intracellular interaction partners of recombinant proteins".

He has analysed several yeast strains of Pichia pastoris, which produce recombinant proteins. During his research he investigated various cellular proteins these recombinant proteins are interacting with during production and secretion into/from the cell. Thus, he has developed another method to gain information about what happens during protein production inside a cell.

The work of Bernhard Schmelzer was financed by the programme of ACIB (Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology). He is in the working group of Prof. Diethard Mattanovich, Assoc. Prof. Brigitte Gasser and Asst. Prof. Michael Sauer.