[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
U.S. farmers and biofuels makers are watching for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) final decision on the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard rules, which will set t...
A team of Michigan State University algae researchers have discovered a cellular "snooze button" that has the potential to improve biofuel production and offer ...
Renewable fuels company Muradel has launched Australia’s first integrated demonstration plant to sustainably convert algae into green crude, as a first step towards a com...
Solazyme, Inc. and Versalis, the chemical subsidiary of Eni S.p.A., one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, today announced a partnership to expand the commerci...
In October 2014 an unusual AlgaePARC research paper entitled Design and construction of the microalgal pilot facility AlgaePARC was published in the Journal of Algal Rese...
Solazyme has announced that total revenue for the fourth quarter of 2014 was $14.5 million, compared with $11.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, an increase of 29%....
Don Willmott writes in Huffington Post about Nevada-based Algae Systems, which has built a test plant on Alabama's Mobile Bay to not only turn algae into diesel fuel but ...
James Goodman writes in the democratandchronicle.com about Jeffrey Lodge, an associate professor of biological sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology, who knows wh...
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...
Biocrude oil obtained from hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of algae can be an energy-efficient replacement for the fossil crude oil normally used in the production of fue...
In a radical pivot, algal fuel pioneer Solazyme Inc. will be changing its name to TerraVia™ to reflect a new focus on food, nutrition and specialty ingredients. A pioneer...
A multiple-effect evaporator (MEE) is a system designed for efficiently using the heat from steam to evaporate water. This equipment is recommended by pollution control a...