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Project Status: Running / October 2020 - October 2022 

This project will use systems biology research methodologies to investigate the molecular mechanisms that underly the remarkable growth phenotype of the bacterium Vibrio natriegens, which with a doubling time of 9.8 minutes is the fastest growing organism we know.


In addition, the insights attained from this analysis will be leveraged to develop a synthetic biology based systematic design process for the engineering of Escherichia coli strains  with tunable growth rate phenotypes for their use as efficient “chassis” in microbial cell factory applications.

Project Page

Project Members & Funding
Research Team
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Dr. Nicolas Kylilis

PhD in Synthetic Biology and Molecular Biology

Research Fellow

University of Cyprus

Roles: Project Co-ordinator, Project Manager, Researcher

Dr. Vasilis Promponas

Associate Professor in Bioinformatics

Head, Bioinformatics Research Laboratory

University of Cyprus

Roles: Project Manager, Quality Assurance

Advisory Committee




Cyprus National Research & Innovation Foundation (RIF)

Funding Programme:



European Regional Development Fund (EDRF)

Project Implementation
Work Package 1 - Project Management

The objective of this Work Package (WP) is the co-ordination and oversight of the project implementation to ensure delivery of the stated objectives. The project management will ensure the completion of project objectives in a timely manner according to stated timeframes, ensure results are of the highest quality, optimum allocation of financial/material/human resources, transfer of knowledge between the project participants and proper documentation of results and progress achieved.

Work Package 2 - Dissemination Activities

The objective of this WP is the communication of research outcomes to various target audiences (eg. scientific community, general public) and the exploitation of the research results for further research funding and/or establishment of IPRs

Work Package 3 -Research into the Systems Biology of fast growing bacteria

The bacterium Vibrio natriegens is the fastest growing organism known with 9.8 minutes doubling time. To understand how it is able to efficiently allocate cellular resources to achieve such a remarkable growth rate this work package will use a combination of genomics, phenomenological assays of bacterial growth and mathematical modelling to gain a qualitative and quantitative understanding of the systems biology of Vibrio natriegens.

Work Package 4 - Research into Synthetic Biology/systematic design for fast growth

Microbial cell factory applications typically use domesticated bacteria as chassis that include genes necessary for the successful colonization of natural habitats, but which are not relevant for the nutrient-rich, stable conditions of the modern industrial bioreactor. Previous effort for streamlining chassis relied on high-throughput genome minimization methodologies in the absence of a considerate approach to cellular resource rebalancing to materialize gains in growth rate.

Instead, the objective of this WP includes the application of the insights from the V. natriegens studies (WP3) to systematically and rationally design synthetic E. coli strains that actively allocate cellular resources optimally for increased bioproduction capacities and faster growth phenotypes.

Work Package 5 - Transfer of knowledge

The objectives of this WP include:

  1. Transfer of knowledge from the HO to the ER: Enrich skillset, secure further funding for research and expand network of ER towards a career as an independent researcher in academia

  2. Transfer of knowledge from the ER to the HO that aims to enhance the R&D capabilities of the HO in Synthetic Biology research.

Project Outcomes


To be updated

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