Visit  cricatalyst.com!Nexus — Leaders in Greenhouse Systems Integration Check out more of The Buzz

“Light Switch” in Cyanobacteria Discovered

July 24, 2012
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Cyanobacteria displaying a green fluorescent tag.

Cyanobacteria displaying a green fluorescent tag. Image: Queen Mary, University of London.

Deanna Conners reports in earthsky.org that a collaboration of scientists from Queen Mary, University of London, the Imperial College London and the University College London have discovered a biological switch in blue-green algae that reacts to light and changes how electrons are transported within the cells. Their results were published on July 10, 2012 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. These findings, the researchers suggest, could help optimize biofuel production by algae.

Lack of light is often a major constraint in non-heterotrophic algae biofuel production systems because algae need light to photosynthesize. Attempts to increase the amount of light delivered to algae in bioreactors typically involve the use of energy-demanding mixing systems or smaller and more expensive growth chambers. Alternatively, scientists could try to improve the way that algae grow under low light conditions. But first, they need to more fully understand how the biological molecules within cells respond to light.

To examine how cyanobacterial cells respond to light, scientists in this study attached a green fluorescent protein tag to two key respiratory complexes in the species Synechococcus elongatus. Then they exposed the cyanobacterial cells to either low light or moderate light conditions in the laboratory and tracked changes in the cells.

The researchers discovered that brighter light caused the respiratory complexes to redistribute throughout the cells from discrete patches into more evenly distributed locations. The result was a greater probability that electrons would be transported to photosystem I, an integral component of the photosynthetic complex in the algae cell.

The scientists are trying to determine what controls these circuits, what makes electrons take a specific route, and what switches are available to send electrons to other destinations. According to Conrad Mullineaux, microbiology professor at Queen Mary, University of London and co-author of the paper, findings from the study could be exploited in engineering algae for improved biofuel production.

Read More

More Buzz…

HOME Algae Industry Jobs

Copyright ©2010-2012 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.

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
Heliae, SCHOTT North America and Arizona State University (ASU) have announced a partnership to bring Heliae’s algae production technology to ASU’s algae testbed facility...
Biomass abounds on Earth, as forests, fields, sewage and seaweed. But only a small fraction, mostly human or agricultural waste, can be harvested without posing environme...
Valensa International and Contract Biotics have announced that Contract Biotics has started construction of an additional six acres of algae production units at the compa...
Algatechnologies (“Algatech”), Israel, has announced a more than 100% expansion of its production capacity of AstaPure® brand natural astaxanthin. This doubling of capaci...
Students from three Arizona universities will demonstrate their algae research projects at an Innovation Showcase May 1, in Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Fitness C...
Yereth Rosen reports in the Anchorage Daily News that scientists at North Carolina State University’s Plants for Human Health Institute have found extremely high levels o...
Santa Fe Community College has been awarded a $50,000, SEED Infrastructure Grant from the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), for commercial ...
Algal oil represents one of the significant segments within the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) ingredients market. Specifically, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is ...
Although the use of whole microalgae in animal diets has long been studied, the 
de-fatted biomass of microalgal species, derived from biofuel production research, has on...
By sending algae into space, a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientist and his team will be able to study some of the key mechanisms that control plant growth and...
In Phys.Org, Yu Yonehara notes the breakthrough research from the Tokyo Institute of Technology on the connection between early marine algae and the development of terres...
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 ...
Four years after the first optimistic calculations, the experimental cultivation of algae at Wageningen University in the Netherlands appears to be meeting expectations. ...
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...
A University of New South Wales (UNSW)-led team of researchers has discovered how algae that survive in very low levels of light are able to switch on and off a weird qua...
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...
Starting in the early 70s, agencies in the former USSR invested more than 20,000 person-years of research and development to produce Bio-Algae Concentrates (BAC) that hel...
Algae manufacturer Cyanotech Corporation has announced implementing three major initiatives to improve Astaxanthin production at their Kailua Kona, Hawaii-based cultivati...