HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
'Grow-in-the-dark' algae may promise dietary supplements, glowing pigments, and more, say Science authors

By tinkering with a single gene, researchers have weaned photosynthetic algae off their dependence on sunlight and engineered them to grow and thrive in darkness. This accomplishment, reported in the 15 June issue of the journal Science, could pave the way towards clean, efficient, and inexpensive production of microalgae, which are used in a variety of commercial applications.

Common microalgae products include fluorescent pigments used in scientific labeling, dietary supplements such as beta-carotene and the fatty acid DHA, which is essential for nervous system development in infants, and feed for farm-raised fish, shrimp, and other aquaculture products.

Since these single-celled aquatic plants depend on sunlight for their energy, they are typically commercially cultivated in large outdoor ponds. These pond "farms" have several drawbacks, however, that make it difficult to control the quality and quantity of their microalgae produce. Contaminants can invade the pond, daily and seasonal changes in light and temperature can make growth rates unpredictable, and the algae can shade each other after a certain point, restricting the available light.

To solve these problems, commercial producers would like to grow microalgae inside fermenters where the tiny plants could be monitored for maximum purity and productivity. This technique requires that the algae give up their photosynthetic ways and use glucose (or another carbon compound) as their primary energy source.

Since most microalgae are unable to make this switch on their own, the Science researchers gave the microalgae Phaeodactylum tricornutum a metabolic boost by introducing a gene that encodes a glucose transporter. The researchers experimented with a variety of glucose transporter genes from human red blood cells, a different microalgae species, and yeast to determine which transporter type might allow the algae to increase its rates of glucose uptake.

P. tricornutu
'"/>

Contact: Cherita Gonzales
cgonzale@aaas.org
202-326-6414
American Association for the Advancement of Science
14-Jun-2001


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Researchers review evolutionary history of modern algae
2. Corals can reestablish symbiosis with algae from their environments after bleaching
3. From algae, weeds and people: new genetic clues to complex obesity syndrome
4. Ontario researchers see increase in taste and odour-causing algae problems
5. Want a side of algae with that? Hawaiian farmers sell seaweed by the seashore
6. Desert dust enables algae to grow
7. Growing human antibodies in algae
8. URI biological oceanographers study potentially toxic microalgae on the northeast coast
9. Researcher turns brown algae phylogeny upside down
10. Metal-eating algae, spartina eradication, horseshoe crabs
11. Dartmouth biologists say algae might be missing mercury link in aquatic food chain

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/1/2020)... ... ... More than 600 people undergo genetic counseling and testing each year as ... two genetic counselors. , My Gene Counsel , a digital health company that ... Rick Program to ensure that UConn’s patients who have undergone genetic testing for cancer ...
(Date:4/30/2020)... ... April 29, 2020 , ... At ... growth – delivering innovative solutions for a wide range of industries including pharmaceutical ... agencies. A month into the new decade, it was clear to company leadership ...
(Date:4/26/2020)... ... April 23, 2020 , ... A team of researchers at the Icahn ... antibody to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This antibody is intended ... treatment option for COVID-19. , The efforts are being led by Mone Zaidi, MD, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/5/2020)... PARIS (PRWEB) , ... May 05, 2020 , ... ... appointing a high-profile CEO. Xavier Duburcq joins the group after 13 years at Altran, ... Chemicals. , Holding a PhD in Immunology and being a Pharmacist, Xavier was involved ...
(Date:4/22/2020)... Hungary and CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (PRWEB) , ... April ... ... in Budapest with US offices in Cambridge, MA, announced today that Omixon’s founder ... led the early commercialisation of Omixon’s flagship product Holotype HLA since 2014 before ...
(Date:4/7/2020)... , ... April 06, 2020 , ... ... solutions for the life sciences industry, has announced the release of at-home virtual ... our top priority is the health and safety of our employees as we ...
(Date:4/1/2020)... Conn. (PRWEB) , ... March 31, 2020 , ... ... Science, Inc. (P2) announce the signing of a Joint Development Agreement that ... , Bedoukian Research, Inc. is a global leader in the supply of high-quality ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: