Copenhagen, Denmark-based DuPont Nutrition & Health Microbiome Venture announced its third strategic research and development partnership. The newly forged relationship with INRA (French National Institute for Agricultural Research), through both the Micalis Institute and MetaGenoPolis, a pre-industrial demonstrator, will be focused on deciphering the molecular mechanisms of action of DuPont’s probiotic strains through a functional metagenomics approach.

INRA has developed and validated a high-throughput screening platform to test the effect of large DNA fragments in genomic or metagenomic libraries on intestinal epithelial cell lines modified with reporter gene technology, DuPont said. This allows the screening of genomic and metagenomic clones on various reporter systems targeting pathways involved in homeostasis, metabolism and immune control, as well as enteroendocrine cell activation.

DuPont said INRA will be a strong partner by defining the molecular mechanisms of action of DuPont Danisco probiotic strains. DuPont established the Microbiome Venture to accelerate microbiome science-based solution development through a combination of selected strategic partnerships with microbiome science leaders and internal investments.

The company said its long-standing innovation relationship with INRA began in 1987 when DuPont was the first company to sponsor INRA Ph.D. theses. Building on this collaboration, this partnership will be part of the Qualiment network, which has been awarded the "Carnot Institute" label of excellence. Qualiment is a network of research institutes and universities created to provide the necessary scientific and technological resources to support companies in developing new food products with higher sensory and nutritional qualities, and for a sustainable alimentation.