Enzyme Technology and Genetic Engineering

The extreme nature in Iceland has taught Icelanders to respect the forces of nature. Some even say that Icelanders are harsh people, whom have learned to let nothing beat them down. And our smaller living creatures are perhaps the same in and around Iceland.

The aim of our research is to utilise Icelandic nature for the production of widely sought after biomolecules and enzymes. The emphasis is on researching an improved standard in enzymes designed for industrial and research purposes.

We develop innovative enzymes from our own extreme sources in Iceland. The key to our success is the unrivalled proprietary collection of thermophilic phage genomes. The main research focus has been on finding and marketing new and improved industrial and research enzymes from thermopile and psychrophilic bacteria.

The advent of massive parallel sequencing techniques has set the stage for the next level of metagenomic biotechnology. This methodology provides the means for isolating genes from environmental DNA and circumvents the need for labor intensive cloning, construction of large insert gene-libraries and subsequent functional screening. It also evades the limitation of sequence based PCR methods.

Our employees have used this technology to access the Icelandic genetic resources, i.e. geothermal habitats and coastal environments. We have been highly active in prospecting these extreme environments in various projects, e.g. for carbohydrate and polysaccharide transforming enzymes in the EU-funded projects Amylomics and SeaBioTech, respectively.

Amongst the enzymes we work on are various transformation enzymes affecting features within polysaccharides, such as starch and cellulose. We also work to improve enzymes for applications in molecular biology.