Click here for more information about Algenuity
Click here for more information about LiqofluxPhenometrics Buy 3 Get 1 Free
Visit cricatalyst.com!Evodos Separation Technology

Innovations

DTU researches lighting cities with algae

May 7, 2018
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Artist’s impression of a bioluminescent city lit by bioluminescent plants and algae.
Illustration: Signe Friis Schack, Allumen IVS

At the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Science Nordic.com reports, researchers are investigating bioluminescent algae, to determine whether bioluminescent organisms could one day light up our cities in a turquoise blue light.

There are some clear challenges to solve. The researchers say that they may need to transfer genes from bioluminescent organisms into other green organisms, perhaps higher plants that will be able to emit light more effectively.

Dinoflagellates emit a strong blue light at night. This phenomenon is known as bioluminescence, whereby living organisms produce light via chemical reactions. They are widely visible at certain times of the year in warmer climates, around the equator from Brazil to Australia.

Even though people have observed this phenomenon in the ocean for more than 2,500 years, we still know surprisingly little about the algae involved and how they produce light.

The luciferase enzyme (yellow Pacman) becomes active at pH 6. It binds with luciverin (green wedge), transferring energy via oxidation, which is emitted as blue light.
Illustration: Signe Friis Schack, Allumen IVS

The algae emit a blue light when they are shaken. Such as, when a predator swims by creating a current, or when the algae are hit by waves in coastal waters.

Two molecules are particularly important for light production: Luciferase (an enzyme) and luciferin (a molecule produced by photosynthesis).

When algae register a disturbance, a chain of cellular chemical processes is set in motion causing the pH to drop. This activates the luciferase enzymes, which bind to the luciferin and transfer energy to the luciferin via oxidation. It is the release of energy from luciferin we see as blue light.

The bioluminescent algae use sunlight to produce energy via photosynthesis to carry out a whole range of processes at the cellular level. They “recharge” during the day so they can emit their blue light throughout the night.

As long as these microalgae grow in a closed container they can function as a biological lamp, which could be used as bulbs to illuminate our cities, shop windows, buildings, roads, and carparks.

Bioluminescent algae are the first stage in the development of biological light, but there are some clear challenges when using algae in a lamp. Algae need to be disturbed into motion before they illuminate, which is problematic in a lamp. Moreover, they only illuminate for a relatively short period because of energy limitation.

To produce biological lamps that can illuminate throughout the night without movement means that we need to think along entirely new lines. Currently, the Danish researchers are trying to figure out precisely which genes are used to emit light and then transfer these genes to other photosynthetic organisms to produce a bioluminescent plant that can emit light all night long.

By: Kristian Ejlsted, MSc. in Biotechnology, Technical University of Denmark, Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Henrik Toft Simonsen, Associate professor, Technical University of Denmark, Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine.

Read More

More Like This…

Copyright ©2010-2019 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission required 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.

twittertopbarlinks_eventstopbarlinks_requesttopbarlinks_archives

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
Global EcoPower (GEP), of Aix-en-Provence, France, has signed a 5-year partnership contract with the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). This ...
Sophie Kevany writes in Decanter.com that a group of vineyards in France’s Bordeaux and Cognac regions are exploring whether algae can be used to prevent the fungal infec...
Judith Lewis Mernit writes in e360.yale.edu that an experiment being conducted by animal science professor Ermias Kebreab at the University of California, Davis, is testi...
“The Israeli food-tech industry has been growing in leaps and bounds in recent years and is taking a leading role worldwide with a broad range of innovative companies and...
Cécile Barbière writes for Euractive.fr (translated by Rob Kirby) that, in large greenhouses formerly home to the tomatoes and cucumbers of the market gardening Groupe Ol...
San Diego, CA and Kailua-Kona, HI-based Cellana, Inc. has signed an Asset Purchase Agreement with Cyanotech Corporation for the sale of Cellana’s six-acre production and ...
Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory and partner institutions have provided the first published report of algae using raw plants as a carbon energy source. The r...
Foodbev.com reports that French marine ingredients company Algaia will install a new specialty seaweed extract unit at its facility in Brittany, France, after securing €4...
Amy Thompson writes in Space.com that SpaceX successfully launched its 15th Space Station cargo-resupply mission on Friday, June 29; carrying a payload of experiments des...
The Algae Biomass Organization (ABO) reports the introduction of the Algae Agriculture Act of 2018 (H.R. 5373), a bill that would give algae cultivators and harvesters ma...
Trade Arabia reports that the Oman Centre for Marine Biotechnology (OCMB) recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Swedish Algae Factory to support the domestic...
When there is a combination of population increase, wastewater discharge, agricultural fertilization, and climate change, the cocktail is detrimental to humans and animal...