Potential industrial biotechnology with cyanobacteria and eukaryotic microalgae

Putting algae to work Both cyanobacteria and eukaryotic microalgae are promising organisms for sustainable production of bulk products such as food, feed, materials, chemicals and fuels. Cyanobacteria are promising host organisms for the production of small molecules that can be secreted such as ethanol, butanol, fatty acids and other organic acids. Eukaryotic microalgae are interesting for products for which cellular storage is important such as proteins, lipids, starch and alkanes.

For the development of new and promising lines of production, strains of both cyanobacteria and eukaryotic microalgae have to be improved. Transformation systems are much better developed in cyanobacteria. However, several products would be preferably produced with eukaryotic microalgae. In the case of cyanobacteria a synthetic-systems biology approach has a great potential to exploit cyanobacteria as cell factories. For eukaryotic microalgae transformation systems need to be further developed. A promising strategy is transformation of heterologous (prokaryotic and eukaryotic) genes in established eukaryotic hosts such as Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

Experimental outdoor pilots under containment for the production of genetically modified cyanobacteria and microalgae are in progress. For full scale production risks of release of genetically modified organisms need to be assessed. This review article summarizes potential and current biotechnological developments.

 

Potential of industrial biotechnology with cyanobacteria and eukaryotic microalgae. Curr Opin Biotechnol. 03 May 2013. pii: S0958-1669(13)00085-2. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2013.04.004
Both cyanobacteria and eukaryotic microalgae are promising organisms for sustainable production of bulk products such as food, feed, materials, chemicals and fuels. In this review we will summarize the potential and current biotechnological developments. Cyanobacteria are promising host organisms for the production of small molecules that can be secreted such as ethanol, butanol, fatty acids and other organic acids. Eukaryotic microalgae are interesting for products for which cellular storage is important such as proteins, lipids, starch and alkanes. For the development of new and promising lines of production, strains of both cyanobacteria and eukaryotic microalgae have to be improved. Transformation systems have been much better developed in cyanobacteria. However, several products would be preferably produced with eukaryotic microalgae. In the case of cyanobacteria a synthetic-systems biology approach has a great potential to exploit cyanobacteria as cell factories. For eukaryotic microalgae transformation systems need to be further developed. A promising strategy is transformation of heterologous (prokaryotic and eukaryotic) genes in established eukaryotic hosts such as Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Experimental outdoor pilots under containment for the production of genetically modified cyanobacteria and microalgae are in progress. For full scale production risks of release of genetically modified organisms need to be assessed.

 

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One Response to Potential industrial biotechnology with cyanobacteria and eukaryotic microalgae

  1. Ed Rybicki says:

    I’m starting with my dogs’ water bowl: thing ends up green so quickly it’s hard to believe. Now, to harness that for good…!

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