[ad#PhycoBiosciences AIM Interview]

Research

B. braunii back in the spotlight for biofuels

July 30, 2013
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Botryococcus braunii

Botryococcus braunii

Arecent research study examining algae as a renewable energy source took an in-depth look at the genetic structure of the unicellular green alga, Botryococcus braunii, for possible genetic engineering applications that could make it a viable biofuel. The results were published in the journal Phycologia, the official publication of the International Phycological Society.

Botryococcus braunii has previously been considered for large-scale biofuel production because of its extraordinary ability to synthesize large amounts of hydrocarbon oils. Several difficulties, however, were encountered in initial production and harvesting trials, diminishing the focus on this strain. This latest research reintroduces B. braunii as the “perfect” vehicle for genetic engineering applications when compared with three other species of green algae, five species of land plants, and eight other phyla species, including bacteria, archaea, fungi, and mammals.

The research focused on the codon usage, or DNA compatibility, of B. braunii with the other organisms. Codon usage for this particular alga is one of the fundamental genetic markers that had not been explored. Codons are greatly affected by the vast amount of guanines (G) and cytosines (C), two of the four nucleotides that make up a DNA molecule.

Many green algal species have high GC content, which causes codon usage bias, or poor compatibility, with other organisms. Surprisingly, B. braunii had comparatively low GC content and its codon usage was similar to that of bacteria, mammals, and land plants.

Although further study is necessary, the ability of B. braunii to synthesize hydrocarbons, combined with the newly discovered codon usage and GC content data, could lead to new genetic engineering techniques that could hasten biofuel development and production of this strain.

Read More

More Like This…

HOME Algae Industry Jobs

Copyright ©2010-2013 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission granted to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
Bioenergy-news.com reports that Volkswagen showcased its algae biogas-powered vehicle at a biogas project based in El Torno Chiclana, a town in south-west Spain. The test...
San Francisco biotech startup New Wave Foods aims to address the impact of overfishing, bycatch, water pollution, slave labor, an animal death toll in the trillions, and ...
Benedict O’Donnell writes in the EU Research and Innovation magazine, Horizon, about research being developed on seaweed as a biological, environmentally friendly, sustai...
The water sample taken from the St. Lucie River near the coastline of Ft. Pierce, Florida was loaded with blue-green algae when it arrived in Ben Spaulding’s lab in Scarb...
In New Zealand is an internationally significant collection of microalgae cultures known as the Cawthron Institute Culture Collection of Microalgae (CICCM). The CICCM was...
In Australia, the New South Wales Deep Green Biotech Hub (DGBH) has been launched as an enabling incubator environment to foster the development of algae as a cost effect...
In one of the most comprehensive studies to date, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers have sequenced the genes of a harmful algal bloom, unveiling nev...
An unprecedented harmful algal bloom off the coast of New England this fall provided a unique opportunity for Waterville, Maine-based Colby College students studying at B...
Matt Stultz writes in MakeZine.com about Algix’ unique 3-D printing filament created with a combination of algae and Polylactic Acid (PLA) – a biodegradable thermoplastic...
ExxonMobil and Synthetic Genomics Inc. have announced that, in joint research into advanced biofuels, they have modified an algal strain to more than double its oil conte...
Will Yeates reports in DailyPlanet.com that an urban “algae farm” producing low-carbon protein and bio-fuel is one of the highlights on show this week at the future energ...
UC San Diego students and researchers have produced the world’s first algae-based, renewable flip flops. The first prototypes of their new invention, developed over the s...