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Providing new, sustainable biosources: DISCO releases project clip



The EU project DISCO has released an animated clip, which illustrates the objectives and activities of the multi-national, interdisciplinary consortium working together in this four-year research initiative. Clear 3D animations exemplify in an easy to understand way the steps taken by the project towards the discovery, application and industrial valorisation and commercialisation of promising sustainable bioactive molecules. In addition, the clip highlights the favourable societal, environmental and economic effects of boosting the production of bioactives from plants.

DISCO was launched in November 2013 with the main goal to develop new sustainable biosources of plant-derived products of pharmaceutical and industrial interest such as carotenoids, apocarotenoids and tropane alkaloids, which will help to alleviate the reliance on chemical synthesis.

Following the completion of the 3rd project year, DISCO has already demonstrated the advantages and benefits of the applied approach. The pipeline from discovery to translation has ensured that fundamental aspects can be incorporated into the process adding value to the supply chain.

The highlights of the project to date are:

(i) The use of next generation sequencing technologies to show high value apocarotenoid production and tropane alkaloid formation.

(ii) The implementation of aquaculture and poultry trials that demonstrate the benefits of renewable admixes over chemically synthesised products.

(iii) The setting-up of a plant cell system which can produce high levels of high-value chemicals, without negative impact on plant growth.

(iv) The release of a colourless carotenoid as a commercial product from tomato for use in cosmetics. 

In the most recent period DISCO has also developed innovative technological flows to support, add value and improve sustainability of biorefining processes.

DISCO brings together a multidisciplinary project consortium of leading academic experts from plant genetics, molecular biology and metabolic engineering as well as industrial partners from Europe and Chile. The project is funded by the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme.

The DISCO coordinator, Professor Paul D. Fraser of Royal Holloway and Bedford New College (UK) has brought together a multinational and multidisciplinary alliance of experts from 15 academic and industrial partner institutions that will translate discovery into industrial feasibility and/or commercialisation.

Professor Fraser also leads the scientific team at Royal Holloway whose work focuses on the renewable production of high value ketocarotenoids in tomato for use in feed admixes for the aquaculture and poultry industries.

To find out more about DISCO, visit their website: www.disco-fp7.eu





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