Japanese researchers develop way to repartition carbon from carbs to lipids in microalgae

May 6, 2021 |

In Japan, a cross-institutional collaboration with researchers from Kobe University and the Takasaki Advanced Radiation Research Institute of the Quantum Beam Science Research Directorate has developed a technique to repartition carbon resources from carbohydrates to lipids in microalgae. It is hoped that this method can be applied to biofuel production. Researchers discovered that the majority of carbon resources were diverted to starch production instead of lipid production under light/dark conditions (i.e. day and night). This is a problem when cultivating microalgae species outside.

In order to produce biofuels using microalgae, it is necessary to cultivate these organisms outside in the sunlight. However, there is an unavoidable decrease in lipid production under these light/dark conditions. The technique of ‘repartitioning carbon resources by disrupting the starch debranching enzyme gene’ developed through this research is one answer to this problem. It is hoped that this new method can contribute towards the large-scale implementation of biofuel production using microalgae. 

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Category: Research

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