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Use of genetic and biochemical engeneiring in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii aiming the increase of the lipid level for biofuel production

Grant number: 11/16072-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2012
Effective date (End): September 30, 2013
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Molecular Biology
Principal Investigator:Pio Colepicolo Neto
Grantee:Helena Dias Muller Villela
Home Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:10/50193-1 - Marine algae as source of metabolites of economical impact, AP.BTA.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):12/16271-0 - Using genetic engineering technique in two species of microalgae in order to increase the quantity and quality of lipids for biofuel production, BE.EP.MS


The environmental impacts caused by gases emitted from burning fossil fuels and their manipulation, combined with rising fuel prices, has stimulated demand for new renewable resources and developing new green technologies that support the industry and market needs. Biofuels are non-toxic resources, biodegradable and renewable, but the current generation of biofuels has some disadvantages: the use of fertile land for production, competition with the food industry and increasing their prices,since it uses soybean, corn and sugar cane for example, in addition to causing deforestation and emission of greenhouse gases. Therefore, an alternative is the production of biofuel, especially biodiesel from microalgae, which have a high potential for this, because they have rapid growth rate and ability to produce large quantities of oil. Several successful studies have been carrying out in the field of biochemistry and genetic engineering of microalgae, aiming to increase the production of lipids, used to obtain biodiesel. By growing conditions (temperature, pH, salinity, etc.), and by nutrition control we can improve metabolic flux generated by photosynthesis and to increase the biosynthesis of lipids. It is also common to modify the route of biossíntise genes to overexpress enzymes that are related to the lipids prodution. In this work we will use the following manipulation of abiotic factors: light intensity and CO2 concentration, and overexpression the gene of lipid biosynthesis ATP-citrate lyase in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Both techniques has shown success in increasing the production of lipids in several species. Thus, the study of biosynthetic pathways of lipids with the use of these tools becomes an increasingly attractive and promising alternative.

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
SIMAS-RODRIGUES, CNTIA; VILLELA, HELENA D. M.; MARTINS, ALINE P.; MARQUES, LUIZA G.; COLEPICOLO, PIO; TONON, ANGELA P. Microalgae for economic applications: advantages and perspectives for bioethanol. Journal of Experimental Botany, v. 66, n. 14, SI, p. 4097-4108, JUL 2015. Web of Science Citations: 23.

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