Nisin is an important antimicrobial peptide that is effective against a broad spectrum of pathogens. It is widely used in the food industry as a natural food preservative and in therapeutics as a promising alternative to antibiotics.
Bioengineering Assistant Professor Ting Lu and Research Associate Wentao Kong developed a lactic acid bacteria strain that is able to overproduce bioactive nisin with a yield six times greater than that of the original. The increase in productivity enables enormous applications in biotechnology, including new use in food safety and pathogen control.
The team is engaged in synthetic bioengineering research, and their work on producing nisin was published as the cover story in ACS Synthetic Biology in July 2014, along with a podcast interview with the journal's Managing Editor.
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