Potential products from Hairy roots
Valuable Plant Extracts - Secondary Metabolites
Various active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) have been discovered in plants´. Those ingredients are produced by the plant as secondary metabolites and have a use not only as pharmaceuticals but also e.g. nutraceuticals, fragrance or flavoring essence. Today, the less complex compounds are commonly produced by chemical synthesis (e.g. vanillin) or by microbial bioprocesses. However, the most complex ones are still sourced from the plant, even in the 21st Century. Hairy roots allow produceing the relevant compounds as a natural product using a bioreactor instead of vast areas of land.
While chemically simple compounds as e.g. flavors (vanillin) can be easily synthesized by the means of organic chemistry, more complex compounds are difficult to produce. Hairy roots offer direct access to complex compounds produced as secondary metabolites.
The most researched Biostimulant – AMF
AMF, a natural fungus can increase fertilizer efficiency and boost the plants resistance to drought and pests. Our scalable Hairy root production process enables the production of AMF at a disruptive price. In the Hairy root production process, the fungus enters the roots and multiplies. AMF will be the first product to be launched on the market.
Plants in a Steel Tank - Hairy Roots (HR)
Hairy roots are the result of a plant tissue transformation with agrobacterium rhizogenes. In a natural process, the tissue starts growing in form of roots that feature a large potential for the production of complex compounds. Given the natural transformation process, hairy roots are generally regarded as non-GMO organisms. Relevant compounds in hairy roots include rather complex secondary metabolites like terpenes, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds. What makes the hair roots really stand out is the fact that they can be directly used, since they are not genetically modified and originate directly from nature. To this date, attempts for industrial scale hairy root production failed to scale above 70L volume despite the significant economic potential, Our novel production approach is based on a revolutionary, reactor design. This development allows the upscaling of the hairy root production process to several m3 for the first time.
Novel HR Production Approach
Evologic built and tested a series of bioreactor prototypes to tackle the critical issues concerning the scale up. Our novel reactor design enabled us to overcome the challenges on the way to industrial scale while providing highly reproducible batch cultivations. Currently, the requirements for the realization of a seed are under development.
Before the creation of the latest bioreactor design, the geometric dimensions and resulting flow patterns have been optimized in silico. Using a computational flow dynamics (CFD) model, flow patterns and particle behavior is modeled an analyzed. A regular verification of the CFD model with experimental data ensures the validity of our models. This approach allows using algorithm-based design optimization and helps to save time and costs over common trial an error approach.
Within the next two years, the scale of our hairy root production, as well as the mycorrhiza production, will be 15 m3. This will allow us to decrease the cost of goods for mycorrhiza dramatically and thereby pave the way for us to enter the market with our product.