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Genetic transformation of the lipid biosynthesis pathways of three microalgae species aiming the increase of oil amount and quality to produce biofuels

Grant number: 12/19058-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2013
Effective date (End): July 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Molecular Biology
Principal Investigator:Pio Colepicolo Neto
Grantee:Angela Pedroso Tonon
Supervisor: Richard T. Sayre
Host Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Los Alamos National Laboratory, United States  


Our project is designed to manipulate two important steps in the metabolic pathway of formation of TAGs in three species of microalgae considered optimum oil producing (C. reinhardtii, C protothecoides and Nannochloropsis sp). The first step aims to increase the amount of Malonyl-CoA, the major precursor in the biosynthesis of lipids. The second step is related to increase carbon chains (C: 18), considered important in the formation of biodiesel. And the third will be complementary to the first two, related the manipulation of unsaturations amount of the carbon chains, another very important aspect of biodiesel. Different methodologies are used in genetic transformations, which is an advantage to use these methodologies in other species of microalgae. In parallel we will study strategies to increase algal biomass in photobioreactors systems through abiotic variation. Undoubtedly, we will share the experience and technology that the group of Dr. Richard Sayre has in biofuel microalgae research. (AU)

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