Description of Research Group

The research group Bioprocesses and Biosystems is a multidisciplinary group under the research group umbrella BioSpec Norway at Norwegian University of Life Sciences. The research group is focused on developing biorefinery processes utilizing microbial cell factories mainly fungi and algae. The research group has more than ten years of experience with developing production of microbial lipids by oleaginous filamentous Mucoromycota fungi and carotenogenic yeast by using different substrates (lignocellulose materials and food rest materials). The research group also working on developing co-production concepts when more than one valuable metabolite is produced in a single fermentation run and developing co-cultures.

The research group utilizing modern vibrational spectroscopy techniques – Fourier transform infrared and Raman spectroscopy for developing fungal fermentation. Vibrational spectroscopy allowing biochemical fingerprinting of all cellular components. Spectroscopy techniques are utilized on all scales – cell population scale, single cell and single organelle scales.

The research group is leading the following research and industrial projects: 1) SAFE ″Sustainable aquaculture feed based on novel biomass from wood by-products″ (NordForsk NRC Funding 10 Mio NOK, 2021-2024); 2) OIL4FEED “Oil from oleaginous microbial biomass derived from Norwegian resources as a sustainable alternative to replace Fish/Plant oils in fish feed” (NRC HAVBRUK2 Pr № 302543/E40, Funding, 12 Mio NOK, 2020-2024); 3) BYPROVALUE “Multifunctional high-value fungal biomass from the Norwegian agriculture supply chain by-products”(NRC MATFONDAVTALE Pr № 301834/E50, Funding 10 Mio NOK, 2020-2024); 4)  LIGNOLIPP “From LIGNOcellulose sugars to high-value LIPids and bioPolymers in a single fermentation process” (NRC BIONÆR Pr № 305215/E50, Funding 12 Mio NOK, 2020-2023); 5) SLUDGErecover “Biorecovery of nutrients from aquaculture sludge by the production of high-value biomass” – “Biogjenvinning av næringsstoffer fra oppdrettsslam ved produksjon av høy-verdi biomasse” (MABIT regional fond Pr № UB0079, Funding 856.000 NOK, 2021). All on-going projects are related to developing biorefinery process for the bioconversion of lignocellulose materials and food by-products such as animal fat and brewery rests to the high-value fungal biomass of different functionalities and applications for feed, chemical and medical industry.

Technology, expertise and equipment

Technology: fermentation in microtiter plates and bioreactors; supercritical extraction of microbial intracellular metabolites; spectroscopy-based high-throughput screening of microbial cell factories; spectroscopy-based monitoring of fermentations

Expertise: fungal fermentations, vibrational spectroscopy of microorganisms; lipid extraction; filamentous fungi

Equipment: microtiter plate system for high-throughput screenings, vibrational spectroscopy equipment for multiscale analysis of cells, bioreactors, supercritical fluid extractor