ellectis plant sciences, the plant genome engineering company, have announced the publication in Nature Communications of their development of algae strains with improved and increased oil content.
The report notes that diatoms are among the world’s most important microalgae, both in terms of diversity and relevance for biotechnological applications. Triacyglycerol (TAG), naturally produced by diatoms, is a key precursor for the biofuel and chemical industries. Identifying methods to increase the yield of key intermediates remains an important target for the biotechnical improvement of strains and processes.
Dr. Fayza Daboussi and her collaborators in this research developed enhanced lipid-producing strains with an increase in triacylglycerol content by the targeted and stable modifications to the genome of the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum.
“We are very proud of the success of our team that further demonstrates the efficiency and uniqueness of our genome editing platform”, said Luc Mathis, CEO of Cellectis plant sciences. “The implementation of this innovation for large scale oil production will require long term investment in process development. Our focus remains the development of healthier food products in potato, soybean, canola and other crops, and we are enthusiastic to make this technology available to potential partners”.
References: Nature Communications Genome engineering empowers the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum for biotechnology Fayza Daboussi, Sophie Leduc, Alan Maréchal, Gwendoline Dubois, Valérie Guyot, Christophe Perez-Michaut, Alberto Amato, Angela Falciatore, Alexandre Juillerat, Marine Beurdeley, Daniel F. Voytas, Laurent Cavarec, Philippe Duchateau Article first published online: May 29, 2014 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4831