Day 2 :
Linum Foundation, Poland
Time : 09:00-9:30
Jan Szopa is currently working as a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Genetic at the University of Wrocław, Poland. His international experience includes various programs, contributions and participation in different countries for diverse fields of study. His research interests reflect wide range of publications in various national and international journals.
Flax fiber served as a major source to manufacture textiles, whereas seeds were pressed to extract edible oil. In the last decades devaluation of flax fiber in the world has been observed. Recently, the renewed interest in flax products has been noticed due to better understanding of the genes involved in flax productivity and fiber quality. All these provide targets for fiber improvement by the novel genetic/epigenetic methods leading to more diverse products based on flax fibers. For example manipulation of gene expression significantly increases antioxidant potential, affected lignin and pectin synthesis and cell wall arrangement. Up-regulation of b-glucanase gene protects plant against pathogenic infection, and thus increases fiber productivity and quality. Unique flax fiber was obtained, by genetic engineering, with novel constituent that strongly affects fiber properties and application, for example the production of a polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) which was accomplished by simultaneous expression of three bacterial genes under vascular bundles specific promoter. The unique application of PHB-fibers has been shown in chronic wound healing. Pre-clinical study revealed healing improvement of chronic ulcers upon treatment with wound dressing based on new fibers. The healing effect was potentiated by supplementation of PHB-fibers with two activators derived from seeds and seedcake of flax accumulating antioxidant compounds. Up-regulation of antioxidants was achieved by simultaneous expression of three genes from flavonoid pathway. The PHB-fiber embedded in polylactide may serve as a scaffold for tissue engineering and has been shown to be useful as biodegradable implant. Micronization process can introduce structural changes in fibers constituents to exhibit more functional groups, and thus might potentiate fiber functionality. Indeed, highly reactive micronized flax fibers might serve as a carrier for biologically active compounds.
Homi Bhabha National Institute, India
Shree Kumar Apte is the Former Director, Bio-Science Group, BARC and currently serves as a Professor at the Homi Bhabha National Institute. He is a JC Bose National and Raja Ramanna Fellow at BARC, Mumbai, India. His laboratory has unraveled stress and adaptive responses of several bacteria and developed many biotechnologies for metal bioremediation from high radiation environments. He is a fellow of all National Science Academies and Agriculture Academy in India.
Removal of traces of uranium from nuclear waste poses a big challenge for its disposal. Our laboratory has genetically engineered the extremely radio-resistant bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans to over-express either an acid phosphatase PhoN, or an alkaline phosphatase PhoK, to achieve impressive uranium bio-precipitation (up to 7-10g U/g dry biomass) over a wide pH (5-9) and uranium concentration (0.2-10 mM) range. Successful preservation of bioprecipitation-active dry biomass for up to 2 years at ambient temperature has been achieved. Conditions have been optimized to accomplish easy and complete recovery of precipitated uranium. Further augmentation of uranium bioremediation has been accomplished by: pyramiding phoN and phoK genes in a single strain, employing radiation-responsive Deinococcus gene promoters, and by surface display of bioremediation-active enzymes.