Team:MSOE Milwaukee/Week2


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Week 2


As a team, we discussed our research on the different ideas developed in Week 1 and went through a voting process to decide on our final topic. Our votes tied numerous times as we attempted to decide, but eventually agreed that our project idea was going to be the biosynthesis of fragrances in E.coli.


In small groups, we researched three possible inputs and three possible outputs for the biosynthesis of fragrances in E.coli. We discussed many input options, including using blue light and using a waste product. For outputs, we discussed developing fragrances or flavorings, including patchoulol, geraniol, linalool, and cinnamaldehyde. Pathways and enzymes involving these molecules were researched at length to try to find a next step for our project.


As the inputs and outputs of our project were being researched, a potential project idea developed. We decided to further research the biosynthesis of cinnamaldehyde through the pentose phosphate pathway and the shikimate pathway. These pathways were chosen because the inputs can come directly from the spent grains used in beer production here in Milwaukee. The glucose from these grains can be used in these pathways to produce phenylalanine, which can then be used to produce the desired product cinnamaldehyde.


Individually, the different possible inputs were researched. More was discovered about using spent grains from a brewery here in Milwaukee.


After a discussion with our advisor, we realized that we needed to come up with an output of a more rare, or more in demand fragrance or oil. Cinnamaldehyde was just too common of a fragrance to focus our project on, so we found a list of alternative oils to research, including Eucalyptus oil and Saffron. Hopefully we can narrow down the list on Monday.