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Improving the sunlight-to-biomass conversion efficiency in microalgal biofactories

Paper ID Volume ID Publish Year Pages File Format Full-Text
22951 43402 2015 15 PDF Available
Title
Improving the sunlight-to-biomass conversion efficiency in microalgal biofactories
Abstract

•Light-to-biomass conversion efficiencies observed in microalgal mass cultures are generally far lower than the theoretical maximum efficiency.•Engineering of the light-harvesting antenna reduces quenching losses and light attenuation in microalgal mass cultures.•The creation of photorespiratory bypasses reduces energy losses caused by the oxygenase activity of Rubisco.•Calvin cycle engineering increases biomass productivity.

Microalgae represent promising organisms for the sustainable production of commodities, chemicals or fuels. Future use of such systems, however, requires increased productivity of microalgal mass cultures in order to reach an economic viability for microalgae-based production schemes. The efficiency of sunlight-to-biomass conversion that can be observed in bulk cultures is generally far lower (35–80%) than the theoretical maximum, because energy losses occur at multiple steps during the light-driven conversion of carbon dioxide to organic carbon. The light-harvesting system is a major source of energy losses and thus a prime target for strain engineering. Truncation of the light-harvesting antenna in the algal model organism Chlamydomonas reinhardtii was shown to be an effective way of increasing culture productivity at least under saturating light conditions. Furthermore engineering of the Calvin–Benson cycle or the creation of photorespiratory bypasses in A. thaliana proved to be successful in terms of achieving higher biomass productivities. An efficient generation of novel microalgal strains with improved sunlight conversion efficiencies by targeted engineering in the future will require an expanded molecular toolkit. In the meantime random mutagenesis coupled to high-throughput screening for desired phenotypes can be used to provide engineered microalgae.

Keywords
Microalgae; Light conversion efficiency; Truncated antenna mutants; Strain engineering; Calvin cycleLHCBM/LHCII, major light-harvesting protein of photosystem II; PCE, photon conversion efficiency; PBR, photobioreactor; NPQ, non-photochemical quenching; P
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Improving the sunlight-to-biomass conversion efficiency in microalgal biofactories
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Publisher
Database: Elsevier - ScienceDirect
Journal: Journal of Biotechnology - Volume 201, 10 May 2015, Pages 28–42
Authors
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Subjects
Physical Sciences and Engineering Chemical Engineering Bioengineering
Get Full-Text Now
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Price was $35.95
You save - $31
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