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Curr Microbiol. 2015 Jul;71(1):115-20. doi: 10.1007/s00284-015-0833-7. Epub 2015 May 14.

Improved Alkane Production in Nitrogen-Fixing and Halotolerant Cyanobacteria via Abiotic Stresses and Genetic Manipulation of Alkane Synthetic Genes.

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Graduate School of Environmental and Human Sciences, Meijo University, Nagoya, 468-8502, Japan.


Cyanobacteria possess the unique capacity to produce alkane. In this study, effects of nitrogen deficiency and salt stress on biosynthesis of alkanes were investigated in three kinds of cyanobacteria. Intracellular alkane accumulation was increased in nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. PCC7120, but decreased in non-diazotrophic cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus PCC7942 and constant in a halotolerant cyanobacterium Aphanothece halophytica under nitrogen-deficient condition. We also found that salt stress increased alkane accumulation in Anabaena sp. PCC7120 and A. halophytica. The expression levels of two alkane synthetic genes were not upregulated significantly under nitrogen deficiency or salt stress in Anabaena sp. PCC7120. The transformant Anabaena sp. PCC7120 cells with additional alkane synthetic gene set from A. halophytica increased intracellular alkane accumulation level compared to control cells. These results provide a prospect to improve bioproduction of alkanes in nitrogen-fixing halotolerant cyanobacteria via abiotic stresses and genetic engineering.

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