[ad#The Buzz Sponsor Ad]

“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
Western Morning News reports that Westcountry scientists in the U.K. are using algae to develop an innovative new method of cleaning up contaminated mine water while harv...
Phys.org reports that, in collaboration with the Berlin, Germany LED manufacturer FutureLED, scientists at the Technische Universität München have developed a unique comb...
Allan Koay writes in thestar.com about a Universiti Malaya research project paving the way for the commercial production of paper pulp and bioethanol from seaweed. The Al...
Much of the development of the algae industry in 2014 was driven by domestic and international alliances, partnerships, and mergers that brought complementary skills and ...
In an age where customer input is as easy as a click, OriginOil has tapped directly into its intended market to R&D their next generation algae harvester -- with a de...
Caroline Scott-Thomas reports on Food Navigator about an online algae discussion on the social media site Reddit where Mars' chief agricultural officer Howard-Yana Shapir...
Developing renewable fuel from wet algae is one of the latest innovations Richland, Washington-based Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has successfully driven ...
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...
Cellana, Inc., with operations in San Diego and Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, has announced that David Anton, Ph.D., has been appointed Chief Operating Officer and elected to the ...
Montague, Prince Edward Island-based Solarvest has announced that it has used its algal-based production platform to express bioactive therapeutic proteins. The proof of ...
Brian Krassenstein, writing in 3Dprint.com, goes deeper into the recent paper in Engineering in Life Sciences journal discussing the impact 3D bioprinting will have in th...
Sebastian Rich reports on PBS Newshour about the Central African Republic city of Bangui, which has been caught in the crossfire between warring Muslim and Christian grou...
Jeff Gelski writes in foodbusinessnews.net that algae oil is now in the toolbox of alternative oils shown to replace partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), which cause trans...
Simris Alg, a pioneering agribusiness producing omega-3 from farmed algae, has been declared one of Sweden’s 33 hottest companies in new technology. The renowned list is ...