The Academy of Finland's Research Council for Biosciences and Environment has granted Principal Scientist Riitta Puupponen-Pimiä and Senior Scientist Brian Gibson a total of EUR 891,335 in project funding.
Riitta Puupponen-Pimiä's project aims at identifying the intermediates and end products of the biosynthesis of ellagitannin compounds in cloudberries and arctic brambles, as well as factors affecting the metabolism of ellagitannins. This knowledge can be used to develop more tolerant berry varieties. The research also creates prerequisites for a controlled production of important ellagitannin compounds in cell cultures with applications to food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry.
Brian Gibson's project investigates the phenomenon of interspecies hybridization and aims to improve our understanding of the molecular and physiological processes that contribute to 'hybrid vigour'. The work will assess the potential of hybridization as a natural tool to engineer micro-organisms for specific industrial processes using the brewing yeast S. pastorianus as a model hybrid organism.