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Matrix Genetics & Proterro partner on modified spirulina

February 11, 2016
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Electron microscopic image of Matrix’s engineered cyanobacterium strain containing one large oil droplet and several smaller ones.

Electron microscopic image of Matrix’s engineered cyanobacterium strain containing one large oil droplet and several smaller ones.

Seattle, WA-based Matrix Genetics, a biotechnology company focused on producing products derived from cyanobacteria, and Proterro, a biotechnology company with a unique photobioreactor technology to convert waste CO2 into valuable products, have announced a partnership to jointly produce high-value nutritional products from spirulina. Matrix will develop the spirulina strains and Proterro will grow these strains on their proprietary production system.

Matrix was the first company to offer rapid and efficient genetic methods for modifying spirulina to obtain a higher protein content, with a rich availability of B vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidant carotenoids including beta-carotene. This development enabled Matrix to develop strains with a specific set of traits for a specific set of desired results, as well as the ability to mass produce them.

“We’re able to precisely and stably introduce new genes into the spirulina genome, enabling us to purpose-build strains that meet the needs of our partners,” said Margaret McCormick, CEO of Matrix Genetics. “Proterro is the first company to leverage this capability and is taking a great step towards fully realizing the promise of spirulina as a commercial-grade source for years to come.”

Proterro’s technology converts the carbon in waste CO2 into valuable products, including industrial biochemicals, food grade and specialty sugars, and nutritional products including organic acids, amino acids, nutrients and vitamins.

“This partnership leverages the expertise and core competencies of both companies,” said Colin South, CEO, at Proterro. “With Matrix’s spirulina plugged into our production system, Proterro will be able to meet the needs of our customers for a sustainable, high-yield source of ingredients for their products.”

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