Fermentation icon Fermentation

Expanding options for food-safe genetic selection markers

Analysis of which food-safe selection markers exist and can be used orthogonally, as well as efforts to develop new selection markers, for alternative proteins.

Production platform
  • Fermentation icon Fermentation
Solution category
  • Research
  • Commercial
Value chain segment
  • R&D
Technology sector
  • Host strain development
Relevant actor
  • Industry
  • Academics
  • Startups


Strain development efforts across plants, animal cells, and microbes often rely on selectable markers. Historically, many of these markers confer traits like antibiotic or herbicide resistance, which is not ideal. While some auxotrophic selection markers exist, these are often not orthogonal and thus not amenable to stacking for multi-trait selection. The alternative protein field would benefit from an analysis of which food-safe selection markers exist and can be used orthogonally, as well as efforts to develop new selection markers.

GFI resources

Fermented meat by meati

The science of fermentation

Learn about the emerging role of microbial fermentation in building the next generation of alternative protein products.

2020 sotir fermentation

State of the Industry Report: Fermentation

This analysis of fermentation for alternative protein production covers science, entrepreneurship, policy, and industry investments.

Lab partners looking in microscope

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  • Cultivated icon Cultivated

Species-specific genomic studies enabling assay development for regulatory standards and cell line optimization

A suite of assays and genomic knowledge exists for humans and commonly used laboratory species such as mice or fruit flies. However, the same species-specific infrastructure does not exist equally…

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  • Fermentation icon Fermentation

Biosynthetic pathway discovery for fermentation-produced molecules

Microbial biosynthetic pathways can be mined computationally to identify candidate pathways for manufacturing high-value ingredients via fermentation.

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  • Cultivated icon Cultivated
  • Fermentation icon Fermentation
  • Plant-based icon Plant-Based

Directory of contract manufacturers for plant-based production, fermentation, and animal cell culture

The alt protein industry would benefit from an open-access directory of co-manufacturers interested in producing alternative proteins, their equipment and capabilities.

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Female scientist doing alternative protein research in a lab

Explore the full solutions database

Browse 300+ startup ideas, commercial opportunities, research projects, and investment priorities throughout the alternative protein supply chain.

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If you’d like to fund a research project, work on any of these solutions, share information about related efforts that are already underway, or elevate new ideas for advancing the alternative protein industry, we’d love to hear from you!