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Genomics of microalgae, fuel for the future?

Brooijmans RJ, Siezen RJ - Microb Biotechnol (2010)

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: B-Basic, 2628 BC Delft, the Netherlands.

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First‐ and second‐generation biofuels envision the conversion of plant biomass via the action of microorganisms, into usable organic compounds (alcohols and fats) and hydrogen... In general, microalgae do not comprise an evolutionarily related group, and may refer to cyanobacteria (blue‐green algae) or eukaryotic algae... Furthermore, algae can be grown everywhere where there is plenty of water and sun (including lakes or in the sea) and thus are not necessarily restricted to (or compete with) areas with arable land... Combined with their fast growth rate, microalgae are considered one of the few realistic sources for the production of biofuels and superior to agricultural crop‐derived bioethanol... Nevertheless, the two major classes of diatoms are represented: the bi/multipolar centrics (Thalassiosira pseudonana) and the pennates (Phaeodactylum tricornutum)... About 57% of the genes found in P. tricornutum have homologues in T. pseudonana and both have acquired a remarkable number of bacterial genes (after secondary endosymbiosis), a degree of magnitude higher than found in other free living eukaryotes... These include genes encoding silicic acid transporters, many spermidine and spermine synthase‐like enzymes, silaffins and frustulins (casing glycoproteins)... Up to fourfold more genes putatively encoding spermidine and spermine synthases can be found in diatom genomes than in other organisms... Chitin fibres, extending from the silica cage, are thought to limit sinking and can account for up to 40% of the biomass... Many diatom‐specific cyclins were also found in the genomes of P. tricornutum and T. pseudonana... For all its beauty, the actual function of the silica shell remains somewhat unclear... It may reduce predation by grazers... In addition to growing diatoms as algae for biofuels, the discovery of the genes that are associated with the silica cage formation may provide handles for future manipulation of the silica nanostructure to catalyse nanobiotechnological applications... Despite the growing number of completed microalgae genome sequences, only a few examples of genetic engineering of the metabolism for the production of biofuels are reported... The immediate future for metabolic engineering with microalgae may lie in the (over)production of high‐value chemicals or biomass components.

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Various shapes of diatoms. Reproduced from UW‐Madison Department of Botany (http://botit.botany.wisc.edu/images/130/Protista_I/Diatom_Images/Grouped_diatoms_MC_.jpg.html).
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f4: Various shapes of diatoms. Reproduced from UW‐Madison Department of Botany (http://botit.botany.wisc.edu/images/130/Protista_I/Diatom_Images/Grouped_diatoms_MC_.jpg.html).

Mentions: Diatoms (Bacillariophyta) are a group of protist microalgae that inhabit oceans, rivers and lakes in a bewildering number of species and exquisite shapes (Fig. 4).


Genomics of microalgae, fuel for the future?

Brooijmans RJ, Siezen RJ - Microb Biotechnol (2010)

Various shapes of diatoms. Reproduced from UW‐Madison Department of Botany (http://botit.botany.wisc.edu/images/130/Protista_I/Diatom_Images/Grouped_diatoms_MC_.jpg.html).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3815765&req=5

f4: Various shapes of diatoms. Reproduced from UW‐Madison Department of Botany (http://botit.botany.wisc.edu/images/130/Protista_I/Diatom_Images/Grouped_diatoms_MC_.jpg.html).
Mentions: Diatoms (Bacillariophyta) are a group of protist microalgae that inhabit oceans, rivers and lakes in a bewildering number of species and exquisite shapes (Fig. 4).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: B-Basic, 2628 BC Delft, the Netherlands.

AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED EXCERPT
Please rate it.

First‐ and second‐generation biofuels envision the conversion of plant biomass via the action of microorganisms, into usable organic compounds (alcohols and fats) and hydrogen... In general, microalgae do not comprise an evolutionarily related group, and may refer to cyanobacteria (blue‐green algae) or eukaryotic algae... Furthermore, algae can be grown everywhere where there is plenty of water and sun (including lakes or in the sea) and thus are not necessarily restricted to (or compete with) areas with arable land... Combined with their fast growth rate, microalgae are considered one of the few realistic sources for the production of biofuels and superior to agricultural crop‐derived bioethanol... Nevertheless, the two major classes of diatoms are represented: the bi/multipolar centrics (Thalassiosira pseudonana) and the pennates (Phaeodactylum tricornutum)... About 57% of the genes found in P. tricornutum have homologues in T. pseudonana and both have acquired a remarkable number of bacterial genes (after secondary endosymbiosis), a degree of magnitude higher than found in other free living eukaryotes... These include genes encoding silicic acid transporters, many spermidine and spermine synthase‐like enzymes, silaffins and frustulins (casing glycoproteins)... Up to fourfold more genes putatively encoding spermidine and spermine synthases can be found in diatom genomes than in other organisms... Chitin fibres, extending from the silica cage, are thought to limit sinking and can account for up to 40% of the biomass... Many diatom‐specific cyclins were also found in the genomes of P. tricornutum and T. pseudonana... For all its beauty, the actual function of the silica shell remains somewhat unclear... It may reduce predation by grazers... In addition to growing diatoms as algae for biofuels, the discovery of the genes that are associated with the silica cage formation may provide handles for future manipulation of the silica nanostructure to catalyse nanobiotechnological applications... Despite the growing number of completed microalgae genome sequences, only a few examples of genetic engineering of the metabolism for the production of biofuels are reported... The immediate future for metabolic engineering with microalgae may lie in the (over)production of high‐value chemicals or biomass components.

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