Using waste apples to grow the worm C. elegans for biotherapeutic production

  • Rahman, Pattanathu (PI)
  • Weinkove, David (CoI)

Project Details


Food waste has the potential to be converted into high-value biomass but new processes need to be developed. One such route is to use the tiny nematode worm C. elegans that feeds on bacteria that grow in rotting apples and other vegetation, to use it them to make high-value proteins. TeeGene has experience in using food waste for bioprocessing and is looking for new high-value product avenues in biotherapeutics. DW has applied his internationally-recognised expertise to use C. elegans to produce a protein with potential therapeutic properties for immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, as part of a collaboration with Prof Harnett at the University of Strathclyde. This protein originates from a parasitic worm but a scalable technology is required for industrial production. Industrial production could open up a multibillion dollar market for drug development. In this project, we will develop methods to grow C. elegans on waste apple products. Bacterial strains isolated from rotting apples have been characterised and will be tested for growth of C. elegans in scalable liquid cultures. We aim to solve a bioprocessing problem and use food waste to make high-value therapeutics.
Short titleBBSRC Business Interaction Award
Effective start/end date1/10/1831/03/19


  • Biotherapeutic
  • C.elegans
  • Apple waste


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.