Model-Based Construction and Optimisation of Versatile Chassis Yeast Strains for Production of Valuable Lipid and Aromatic Compounds

Chassy is a 10-partner project funded under the Industrial Leadership Priority of the EU Horizon 2020 Programme.

CHASSY is a collaboration between academia and industry that will develop yeast platforms for the production of high value products for the cosmetic and nutrition sectors.

Using systems and synthetic biology, we will remodel three species of yeast suited to specific applications. Then, we will fine-tune their cellular networks to construct strains with optimised metabolic pathways. Products made in these optimised strains will contribute to the European bio-based economy and help to replace petrochemicals and palm oil as sources of molecules for the chemical, cosmetic, and fuel industries. The strains will also facilitate sustainable production of plantderived nutrition, flavour, and pharmaceutical products.

Using yeast can benefit the environment, but figuring out how to rebuild or reprogramme a cell so that it produces the desired molecule or product takes a lot of time and money. CHASSY will speed up this process by designing chassis yeasts that are robust and flexible. These can be the starting point for cell factories customised for different products. Compare it to a car – the same chassis design is used as the frame for cars with different features and styles. This saves time and money beacause you can customize the car without having to get engineers to redesign the chassis. The scientific principle behind CHASSY is straightforward: the same building blocks are needed to make nutraceuticals and other products in yeast but these building blocks are in short supply. By redesigning a yeast so that it produces a lot of these common building blocks, the yeast is then ready to build many different products of commercial value and in greater amounts. The challenge is to figure out how to get yeast to accumulate the correct building blocks.

To achieve its goals, CHASSY combines some of the newest disciplines in science. The first is systems biology, which uses mathematical modelling to tell scientists how a yeast needs to change to accumulate the correct building blocks. The second is synthetic biology, which is a toolkit that enables those changes to be made. The scientists working on the project are

specialists in lots of different areas and they need to collaborate to completely understand the functions of the yeast species they are studying. Once the cells have been studied and the relevant changes have occurred, industry partners will check that the yeast can survive, flourish, and produce the desired compounds under industrial conditions.

CHASSY aims to provide technological knowhow and platform yeast strains to support European SMEs in the industrial biotech sector, so we are forming a CHASSY SME stakeholder group. Stakeholders will receive information on technologies and opportunities as they arise; invitations to information and networking events; opportunities to exploit project outputs; and the possibility of forming partnerships to develop products in their own portfolios.

To join the SME stakeholder group or to learn more about partnering, email:


For an up to date list of Chassy publications, please see the project data depository on Zenodo.

Chassy Project Factsheet

Quick Facts





Funded By

EU H2020


Dr John Morrissey


Circular Economy



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