[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
Most Americans get plenty of protein, primarily from animal products including meat, eggs and milk. But for many, ensuring a healthy protein intake can be challenging. In...
Nutritionaloutlook.com this month gives a well-rounded survey of how algae’s uses in food, beverage, and supplements keep expanding. Here is an excerpt: Thanks to the 201...
Using a malaria parasite protein produced from algae, paired with an immune-boosting cocktail suitable for use in humans, researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine g...
As one of the most water-poor countries in the world, Jordan’s current water resources are significantly below the global water scarcity line. Annual rainfall falls under...
K. S. Rajgopal writes in thehindu.com about a new study that demonstrates how macroalgal biomass from Gelidiella acerosa and Gracilaria dura collected from Adri and Verav...
Earthrise Nutritionals, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo, Japan’s DIC Corporation, is on schedule to complete construction in August, 2015, of a new extraction plant fo...
Nitrogen and phosphate nutrients are among the biggest costs in cultivating algae for biofuels. Sandia National Laboratories molecular biologists Todd Lane and Ryan Davis...
Joelle Kovach writes in the Peterborough Examiner that a company developing new technologies using the algae euglena to purify water has opened a new facility near Trent ...
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded Arizona State University (ASU) a three-year, $1 million grant to fund the Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Capture and Membrane ...
Ewen Callaway writes in the jounal Nature that restrictions on harvests and exports of Gelidium seaweed in Morocco have affected the global supply of the lab reagent agar...
John Wiegand writes for MiBiz.com that, as the craft brewing industry matures, many West Michigan producers have started seeking out technology that provides sustainable ...
Marco Poletto, is both a PhD student at Aarhus School of Architecture and partner in London-based ecoLogicStudio, a firm which creates eco-friendly urban systems that int...