Technology expertise

Microbial Strain Development

Discovery, optimization, provision of microbial producer strains

Samples from a wide variety of natural habitats and resources, from foodstuffs to industrial side streams have been collected and stored in the BRAIN Bioarchive for many years. They serve to support isolation campaigns for either the extension of our collection of microbial strains or to isolate genomic DNA for bioactivity screening, sequencing or metagenomics to identify novel metabolic traits.

Based on this industry-leading collection of natural resources and data we identify, develop and optimize microbial production strains that meet our customers' needs.

Our BRAIN Bioarchive provides access to a wealth of new biological solutions for industrial processes and applications. Whether the aim is to utilize different substrates (including CO2), develop novel or alternative biosynthetic products and more stable production strains, identify safe strains and microbial consortia for food fermentations or use techno-functional microorganisms: the immense diversity of the BRAIN Bioarchive has solutions waiting for (almost) every application.


Contact our expert
Portrait von Guido Meurer, BRAIN Biotech

Dr. Guido Meurer

is our expert in the field of Producer Strain Development

View his profile

Do you want to …

… establish a microbial production process?
… identify suitable microbial strains, probiotics or starter cultures for your application?
… optimize your existing microbe?
… push your food application or product to new heights ?
… recycle or upgrade your industrial side streams?

Contact us.

Discovery – From screening to cultivation

Our journey begins with the identification of suitable microbial strains as a basis for future production bioprocesses. To this end we screen the BRAIN Bioarchive with its thousands of culturable microorganisms. The microorganisms are classified into application-specific sets (“microbial toolboxes”) of value-added strains with defined properties (e.g. food-grade, GRAS, IDF, or China-listed microorganisms, including yeasts, fungi, LAB etc.). What follows is (further) characterization by microbiological techniques as well as genome analysis and growth and performance tests under application-specific conditions.

Aside from strains, BRAIN Group’s proprietary Bioarchive provides access to an immense variety of natural products, fractions derived from edible plant material, enzyme libraries and metagenomes harboring complete metabolic pathways even from unculturable organisms. We are continuously expanding what we term as “nature’s toolbox”.

Optimization – Developing strains tailored to customers’ applications

Step two in our journey: Individual requirements for production strains or functional biomass are a welcome challenge for us. Customers benefit from our long-standing experience in the successful implementation of highly individualized concepts for strain development.

Whether we are dealing with genetic engineering or evolutionary optimization methods (classical breeding), our customers decide which route to go to best reach the target strain productivity considering their respective market environment. Additionally, BRAIN Biotech has long experience in establishing so-called “self-cloning” regimes for strain optimization.

Technologies used at BRAIN Biotech to support microbial strain development include diverse genome editing methodologies (e.g. proprietary CRISPR-Cas) on the one hand and adaptive laboratory evolution (ALE) techniques, e.g. employing chemostats, on the other hand.

Further technologies employed are microbial gene transfer and expression toolboxes, own BioBricks collection, NGS, applied bioinformatics, the identification of novel enzyme genes or gene clusters harboring pathways of interest, followed by pathway- and enzyme engineering, and all combined with analytics and bioprocess development to ensure coherent development of strain and process.

Think big – scaling the microbial production process

Step three in our journey: The production strain does what it is supposed to do, but so far only on a laboratory scale. Now it's time to think big and to scale up the microbial production process to pilot- and industrial scale. Depending on the application this may entail producing the strain as starter culture or probiotic for different purposes e.g. in food or animal feed or as functional biomass for technical processes (e.g. our metal mining / recycling technologies) and/or scaling up a production process for target molecules that the optimized strain was developed to produce.

Using their biology and engineering skills and broad knowledge of process development, BRAIN’s staff set up upstream and downstream processes in close collaboration with customers. For a process transfer, processes can be scaled and optimized up to 200 liters at the BRAIN headquarter with additional larger scale capacities within the BRAIN Group – or its network of toll manufacturers, where appropriate.

Our USPs in strain development:

  • Own bioarchive with thousands of microorganisms
  • Application-specific microbial toolboxes of value-added strains with defined properties
  • Long-standing experience in strain development working on many types of producer strains
  • Broad application knowledge in different industries
  • Strong knowledge in the development of starter cultures, probiotics and functional biomass
  • Comprehensive technology package of microbiology, molecular biology, bioinformatics, assay development, analytics, protein engineering and bioprocess development

Do you want to …

… establish a microbial production process?
… identify suitable microbial strains, probiotics or starter cultures for your application?
… optimize your existing microbe?
… push your food application or product to new heights ?
… recycle or upgrade your industrial side streams?

Contact us.

Further technology expertise


Close-up of a 3D enzyme structure
Enzyme Technology

Bioactives & Performance Biologicals

Bioprocess Development

Share this page