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CRISPR-edited algae with high biofuel yield created by ExxonMobil, Craig Venter’s Synthetic Genomics

La Jolla [California’s] Synthetic Genomics and oil giant ExxonMobil say they have created an oil-rich strain of algae that represents a major research advance toward commercializing algae-based biofuels.

Researchers have doubled lipid content in a genetically engineered strain of Nannochloropsis gaditana, the companies say in a study published … in Nature Biotechnology. It has been increased from about 20 percent in the natural form of this edible ocean algae to 40-55 percent in the engineered strain.

Moreover, this increase comes without significantly reducing the algae’s growth rate, the study said. And the oil-like lipids from may potentially be processed in existing refineries and used like diesel.

The genetically engineered strain inhibits a suppressor of lipid production.

Using various tools, the team identified certain genes that were inhibited in this low-nitrogen environment, then they set out to identify those that regulated lipid production. They found one that met all tests. Using this knowledge, they employed the popular CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing system to inhibit that gene.

[Read the full study (behind paywall)]

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Synthetic Genomics and ExxonMobil double biofuel yield from algae

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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