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
A new, outdoor system at the University of Dayton Research Institute has been producing a high volume of algae since its installation in the summer of 2013, even through ...
Kazuaki Nagata reports from Japan that while the Fukushima nuclear disaster has prompted vigorous discussion about alternative energy in Japan, there is a lack of a paral...
Jamie Radford writes in the Illawarra Mercury that Pia Winberg, from the University of Wollongong, believes that the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia (NSW) is in...
Algae manufacturer Cyanotech Corporation has announced implementing three major initiatives to improve Astaxanthin production at their Kailua Kona, Hawaii-based cultivati...
Steven Mufson reports for the Washington Post that Algenol Biofuels estimates hackers have attempted to break into its computers 39 million times in four months this year...
Biofuels derived from the oils produced by algae may offer a low-cost sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. To achieve this goal, optimization of cost effective strate...
Matthew Carr was recently named executive director of the Algae Biomass Organization (ABO), the leading trade association for the algae industry. His presence will soon b...
Phys.Org reports that scientists Jolanda Verspagen and Jef Huisman of the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands have concluded that rising CO2 concentrations in the at...
Bookending the upcoming Algae Biomass Summit, Sept. 29-Oct.2 in San Diego, will be industry tours to give attendees a first-hand look at the latest progress in technical ...
SCHOTT AG, of Mitterteich, Germany, and Algatechnologies Ltd. (Algatech), based at Israel’s Kibbutz Ketura, have signed an R&D agreement to strengthen their partnersh...
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...
James “Jamie” Levine took over the reigns at Sapphire Energy in July of this year as former President and CEO Cynthia “CJ” Warner stepped down, retaining her role as chai...
Arizona is taking advantage of its open land and ample sunshine to assume a leadership position in the algae biofuel field. The state is home to two national algae testbe...
A team of Michigan State University algae researchers have discovered a cellular "snooze button" that has the potential to improve biofuel production and offer ...
Algix, parent company of Solaplast, will be inaugurating their algae-to-plastic facility in Meridian, Mississippi, on November 14, 2014. Solaplast's facility will be focu...
Hortidaily.com reports that in Nevele, Belgium, Tomalgae is growing algae in a former tomato greenhouse. Their company was formed when tomato cultivation entrepreneurs Pi...
Iran-based Qeshm Microalgae Biorefinery Co. (QMAB) has launched a biofuel being marketed as BAYA®, produced from a species of Nannochloropsis (strain 6016) isolated from ...
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...