Project details – University of Copenhagen

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Engineering the production of broccoli bioactive in microorganism

Main area:Molecular Biology
Target group:Biology-Biotechnology, Other Education
Educational level:Bachelor, Master, Project outside course scope
Project description:

The goal of this project is to produce the health-promoting compounds from broccoli in a microbial organism to enable intake of well-defined doses of compounds.


We are all encouraged to eat more broccoli to minimize our risk of developing cancer. Glucoraphanin that is derived from dihomo-methionine is the major glucosinolate associated with the health-promoting effects. This has primed a desire to develop it as dietary supplements. The genes in the biosynthetic pathway are all known, and we have demonstrated the feasibility of engineering glucoraphanin transiently in tobacco, and dihomo-methionine in E.coli. Multigene constructs have been designed.


a)     Assemble the multigene constructs in E.coli and test for production of glucoraphanin.

b)    Optimize production of methionine precursor with CrispCas-mediated editing of endogenous methionine regulators to increase methionine availability.

c)     Evaluate fitness of glucoraphanin-producing strain by state-of-the-art ‘omics technology (proteomics and RNAseq transcriptomics).

Work environment: We expect you to be enthusiastic, dedicated and eager to learn and advance your skills in many disciplines (e.g. research, oral and written presentations). In return, we provide a stimulating, international research environment. If this has your interest, please contact:

Methods used:Assembly of multigene constructs, pathway engineering in E. coli, CrispCas-mediated genome editing, proteomics and RNAseq of engineered strain.
Keywords:Synthetic biology, Molecular biology, Biochemistry, Omics technology, Analytical chemistry
Project home page:
Supervisor(s): Main supervisor: Barbara Halkier, Co-supervisor: Annette Petersen,