[ad#PhycoBiosciences AIM Interview]

Research

Brown algae being engineered for food and bio-ethanol

December 2, 2013
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

New research shows that all major sugars in brown macroalgae can be used as feedstocks. Photo: David Csepp, NOAA/NMFS/AKFSC/Auke Bay Lab

New research shows that all major sugars in brown macroalgae can be used as feedstocks. Photo: David Csepp, NOAA/NMFS/AKFSC/Auke Bay Lab

European Biotechnology News reports that researchers, together with Norwegian and Chilean bioethanol producers, have developed advanced techniques to produce food and bio-ethanol from brown algae, which does not require arable land, fresh water or fertilizers.

Until now, cultivation of that feedstock was not sustainable, because yeasts weren’t able to transform the brown algae’s alginate and mannitol to bio-ethanol. Now the team, under Yasuo Yoshikuni from Bio Architecture Lab Inc. (Berkeley, USA) and the biofuel firms BALChile SA (Santiago de Chile) and Statoil ASA (Trondheim, Norway), have presented a metabolically-engineered yeast strain that can achieve that.

After re-engineering the alginate and mannitol catabolic pathways in the standard industrial microbe Saccharomyces cerevisiae, researchers also integrated the alginate monomer (4-deoxy-L-erythro-5-hexoseulose uronate, or DEHU) transporter from the alginolytic eukaryote Asteromyces cruciatus into the yeast genome.

Overexpression of the transporter gene together with the required bacterial alginate and deregulated native mannitol catabolism genes, enabled S. cerevisiae to efficiently metabolise DEHU and mannitol.

When this platform was further adapted to grow on mannitol and DEHU under anaerobic conditions, it was capable of ethanol fermentation from mannitol and DEHU, achieving titres of 4.6%(v/v) (36.2 g l21) and yields up to 83% of the maximum theoretical yield from consumed sugars.

According to the researchers, these results show that all major sugars in brown macroalgae can be used as feedstocks for biofuels and value-added renewable chemicals in a manner that is comparable to traditional arable-land-based feedstocks.

The research is reported in Nature

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
Natural Icelandic astaxanthin supplier, ArcticFarma, has reached an agreement with a subsidiary of China-based BGG to rename itself in order to avoid market confusion. “B...
Karen Phillips writes for deeperblue.com that algae are the alveoli in the ocean lungs of our planet, vitally important to the health of the seas as home, food source, sa...
Dr. Tom Dempster works as a research professor – focusing on strain selection and development, biomass production, algal biofuels and high-value products, and air and was...
Jason Smith reports for undercurrentnews that Kentucky-based Alltech is willing to invest in overseas algae production plants closer to its feed customers if demand for i...
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft reports in Science Daily that two algae species survived 16 months on the exterior of the International Space Station (ISS) despite extreme temper...
For algal biofuels to compete with petroleum, farming algae has to become less expensive. Toward that goal, Sandia National Laboratories is testing strains of algae for r...
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...
Monica Jain of Fish 2.0 writes in National Geographic about how the algae brand is about to undergo an image makeover, and may soon seem flat-out glamorous — once again. ...
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...
The recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) of three projects to receive up to $8 million, aimed at reducing the costs of producing algal biofuels and ...
Carlsbad-based Surftech, a stand-up paddle (SUP) and Surfboard manufacturing company has announced its collaboration with BLOOM, a materials development company, to devel...
Adoption of advanced technologies in various stages of natural astaxanthin production, such as microalgae harvesting, cultivation, extraction, and drying, have been major...