Domestication of living organisms started 15,000 years ago and big expectations are raised today on biological based technologies to meet humanity’s challenges. Health applications aside, industrial biotechnologies are expected to provide solutions for feeding the planet and sustainably produce fuels, chemicals and materials.
Industrial biotechnologies are still expected to deliver solutions for feeding the planet and sustainably produce fuels, chemicals and materials. An approach that lies exclusively on engineering is limited by the complexity of living organisms. Heuristic and non-GM techniques are required that harness natural selection, thus leveraging the vast combinatorial that is constantly generated towards development of industrial strains.
Altar is a French biotech established in 2017 following a rebranding and restructuring of Heurisko, a company leader in the field of automated evolutionary devices. Fluidic devices designed and operated by Altar autonomously control and adapt the selective pressure over a microbial population for indefinite periods of time.
Historically, Heurisko and Altar have been working mostly on projects pursuant to which a selective pressure is artificially installed through genetic modifications, following a semi-rational approach. Yet, utilization of the technology is increasing in the field of non-GM strains development for applications on regulated markets like food and feed. Based on a series of proprietary cultivation protocols, adaptive evolution experiments are actually relevant for the enhancement of some phenotypic such as tolerance to a toxic compounds, utilization of an alternative substrate or growth rate on a simplified medium.