Expansion of the genetic engineering toolbox of cyanobacteria

​Cyanobacteria are a promising platform for the renewable production of high-value chemicals, as they combine photosynthetic growth with simple cellular organization; however their potential has not been fully explored. One of the reasons is the lack of a synthetic biology toolbox for the rapid generation of a large number of constructs, allowing the engineering and testing of multiple production strains. My research aims to overcome this limitation by generating a modular synthetic biology kit, and apply it to for the bioproduction of commercially interesting compounds.

​Moved to Australia as CSIRO Future Science SynBio Fellow to work on synthetic biology and metabolic engineering applications of cyanobacteria. I did my PhD in Biotechnology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, focusing on the photosynthetic production of diterpenoids. I obtained my B.Sc in Biology from the University of Athens, Greece, and my M.Sc. in Applied Biotechnology from Uppsala University, Sweden.

Key Publications​

Responses of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 to heterologous biosynthetic pathways
Vavitsas, Konstantinos, Rue, Emil Ostergaard, Stefansdottir, Lara Kristin, Gnanasekaran, Thiyagarajan, Blennow, Andreas, Crocoll, Christoph, Gudmundsson, Steinn and Jensen, Poul Erik (2017) Responses of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 to heterologous biosynthetic pathways. Microbial Cell Factories16 1: . doi:10.1186/s12934-017-0757-y

PhD supervisors: be better mentors
Mehta, Devang and Vavitsas, Konstantinos (2017) PhD supervisors: be better mentors. Nature545 7653: 158-158.

Extending the biosynthetic repertoires of cyanobacteria and chloroplasts
Nielsen, Agnieszka Zygadlo, Mellor, Silas Busck, Vavitsas, Konstantinos, Wlodarczyk, Artur Jacek, Gnanasekaran, Thiyagarajan, de Jesus, Maria Perestrello Ramos H., King, Brian Christopher, Bakowski, Kamil and Jensen, Poul Erik (2016) Extending the biosynthetic repertoires of cyanobacteria and chloroplasts. Plant Journal87 1: 87-102. doi:10.1111/tpj.13173

In vivo assembly of DNA-fragments in the moss, Physcomitrella patens
King, Brian Christopher, Vavitsas, Konstantinos, Ikram, Nur Kusaira Binti Khairul, Schroder, Josephine, Scharff, Lars B., Hamberger, Bjorn, Jensen, Poul Erik and Simonsen, Henrik Toft (2016) In vivo assembly of DNA-fragments in the moss, Physcomitrella patens. Scientific Reports6 . doi:10.1038/srep25030

Heterologous expression of the isopimaric acid pathway in Nicotiana benthamiana and the effect of N-terminal modifications of the involved cytochrome P450 enzyme
Gnanasekaran, Thiyagarajan, Vavitsas, Konstantinos, Andersen-Ranberg, Johan, Nielsen, Agnieszka Zygadlo, Olsen, Carl Erik, Hamberger, Boejrn and Jensen, Poul Erik (2015) Heterologous expression of the isopimaric acid pathway in Nicotiana benthamiana and the effect of N-terminal modifications of the involved cytochrome P450 enzyme. Journal of Biological Engineering9 1: . doi:10.1186/s13036-015-0022-z

Full list of publications available on espace

Funding

​2017- 2020 CSIRO Future Science SynBio Fellowship