Biodiversity

harnessing the great richness of microbial world

Bacteria are microscopic living organisms, unicellular and present in all types of biotopes encountered on Earth including the human body. They can be isolated from the soil, water, air, ocean depths, radioactive waste, the earth's crust, skin...

There are about 10 000 known species to date, but the true diversity of the bacterial world is probably greater. The estimate of the number of species oscillates between 5 and 10 million[1].

Knowledge of rare microorganisms

Many species of bacteria are poorly known and not exploited because they cannot be cultured in the laboratory. They have developed a metabolism adapted to their natural environment (specific conditions of temperature, acidity, oxygenation) that are very difficult to reproduce.

Since its inception, DEINOVE has developed a specific expertise in this field: by fine tuning the culture conditions (nutrients, pH, oxygen, etc.), DEINOVE researchers have managed to culture these rare micro-organisms and study the compounds that they express in different conditions, opening up a whole world of discoveries and potential innovations.

A unique biological collection, source of innovative compounds

DEINOVE's bacterial collection includes more than 6000 strains, including about 40% of Deinococcus and 60% of other rare bacterial genera, all selected through an original process based on UV resistance. This proprietary and patented selection method has allowed it to collect rare strains with varied properties.

DEINOVE’s rare bacterial strains collection

 

The Deinococccus genus

DEINOVE has based its scientific approach on the knowledge and valorization of the genetic and metabolic potentialities of the bacterial genus Deinococcus. This bacterium, discovered by chance in 1956, has exceptional properties that had never been valued. Highly resistant to environmental stresses (drought, extreme temperatures, radiation, ionization, UV exposure, etc.), Deinococcus bacteria have been present on Earth for 3.5 billion years, making it one of the oldest living creatures and an amazing microorganism.

Deinococcus is particularly known for its particularly efficient DNA repair mechanism. After suffering a number of breaks in its DNA that is enough to kill any other known living organism, Deinococcus is able to regenerate completely in just a few hours. This very sophisticated mechanism involves an action to prevent cell damage thanks to antioxidant molecules such as Deinoxanthine, a carotenoid responsible for the color of Deinococcus.

Deinococcus is the bacterial chassis used historically by DEINOVE and in particular in the production process of Phyt-N-Resist® for the conversion of sugars into phytoene.

Other rare bacterial genera

The DEINOVE collection also has nearly 3,500 strains of various rare bacterial genera. Rare genera are generally little studied, especially since they can be difficult to culture in laboratories. DEINOVE has developed a specific expertise in the culture, screening, and engineering of these microorganisms with the objective of identifying all opportunities for producing compounds of interest in health, cosmetics, or nutrition.

An expanding collection

DEINOVE continues to expand its strain bank in a targeted way, mainly to multiply the chances of discovering new antibiotic structures. To do this, the Company has modified its approach according to two axes:

  • Collection of new strains: DEINOVE collaborates with specialists in environmental microbiology to identify environments that are particularly conducive to the discovery of new antibiotics, such as contaminated environments, waste, etc.
  • External collaborations: DEINOVE enters into agreements with pharmaceutical companies to access new strains, potentially producing antibiotics. The Company focuses on rare bacterial genera that could complement its own collection. In the event of a promising discovery, the strains concerned may be the subject of an acquisition or license agreement. This is, for example, the aim of the collaborations with bioMérieux and Naicons.

The objective of the AGIR Program is to collect and characterize 2000 new strains per year over the 5 years of the project.

 

Samples of DEINOVE'S strain collection

Deinococcus geothermalis

Collected at Piton de la Fournaise (Reunion Island) | Bacterium from the Deinococcales group | Antioxidant, healing and whitening activities

Deinococcus aquaticus

Collected in Brittany (France) | Bacterium from the Deinococcales group | Antioxidant activity | Produces nutrients for animal health | Produces red pigment

 

Sphingomonas

Collected in Aquitaine (France) | Protoobacterium from the Sphingomonadaceae group | Antioxidant and healing activities | Produces yellow pigment | Licensed out to Greentech

Microbacterium arborescens

Collected in Occitania (France) | Protoobacterium from the Microbacteriaceae group | Antibiotic activity (DNB101/102) |  Produces blue pigment

 



 

[1] Isabelle Burgun, « Bactéries : La guerre des mondes » [archive], Agence Science-Presse, 28 novembre 2012.