Microbes are employed in myriad ways to make useful and valuable products. Various genetic approaches are used to increase phenotypic diversity and optimize product yield and cell growth in bio-production systems. However, current genetic methods are limiting in achieving such optimizations, mainly because biological systems tend to be robust and their properties resistant to genetic changes.

Function Generator Technology™

The Function Generator™ technology represents a powerful new empirical way of increasing phenotypic diversity for productivity enhancements and growth optimizations of industrial microbes. The technology employs a mechanism for modifying biological function which is natural, yet rarely observed in nature. Compound genes are assembled from a genome-wide set of native coding sequences. Novel genes conferring improved phenotypes are constructed in a manner that reduces the ability of an organism to compensate for changes in its regulatory machinery. High-complexity combinatorial expression libraries of these Function Generator™ genes are then transferred into an organism of interest followed by selection or screening for desirable characteristics.

Advantages over competitive technologies

Function Generator™ genetic improvement technology
This technology has multiple advantages over competitive technologies

Phenotypes created in weeks
One Function Generator™ library can yield many trait genes

Inexpensive analysis and reagents
Straightforward procedure
Low labor requirement

Can be applied to any organism
Iterative improvements
Inexhaustible supply of input sequences (i.e. >1000 sequenced bacterial genomes)

Inherently suited to alter biological control mechanisms
Superior to existing methods for genetic improvement
Proven in two unrelated organisms (bacteria and yeast)
Combinatorial power increases chances of a hit

Any number of input sequences
Protein engineering capability for specific target proteins

Improved traits are encoded by single genes
Facile trait transfer to other strains and organisms

Initial screens yield data about sequence combinations that are effective for specific traits
Allows identification of critical regulatory genes

Synergistic effects of novel genes acting via distinct genetic mechanisms
Artificial genetic pathways solely based on functional selections

Cis-genic genetic modification using the organism’s own genes
Avoids inter-species gene transfers

Novel sequence compositions
New patentable genes generated by the ‘hand of man’

Novel Genes and Traits
  • Combinatorial gain-of-function technology based on genome-wide combination of coding sequences in translational fusions to generate novel genes
  • Novel genes and traits are created by randomly combining precisely generated input sequences into large combinatorial libraries
  • A Function Generator™ library simultaneously uses 6 different mechanisms for altering biological properties
  • Novel approach for altering biological phenotypes
  • Accelerated evolution through generation of functional and phenotypic diversity
  • Increased probability of trait improvement