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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2008 Oct;19(5):430-6. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2008.07.008. Epub 2008 Sep 6.

A green light for engineered algae: redirecting metabolism to fuel a biotechnology revolution.

Author information

1
Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA. jrosenberg@jhu.edu

Abstract

Microalgae have the potential to revolutionize biotechnology in a number of areas including nutrition, aquaculture, pharmaceuticals, and biofuels. Although algae have been commercially cultivated for over 50 years, metabolic engineering now seems necessary in order to achieve their full processing capabilities. Recently, the development of a number of transgenic algal strains boasting recombinant protein expression, engineered photosynthesis, and enhanced metabolism encourage the prospects of designer microalgae. Given the vast contributions that these solar-powered, carbon dioxide-sequestering organisms can provide to current global markets and the environment, an intensified focus on microalgal biotechnology is warranted. Ongoing advances in cultivation techniques coupled with genetic manipulation of crucial metabolic networks will further promote microalgae as an attractive platform for the production of numerous high-value compounds.

PMID:
18725295
DOI:
10.1016/j.copbio.2008.07.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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