Microalgae and cyanobacteria arouse technological and industrial interest, as they produce components of high added value, being fully used in the form of extracts, or purified compounds, in food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic formulations, among others. Dunaliella salina is the main carotenoid-producing microalgae. Obtaining biomass with higher levels of carotenoids reduces the cost of production, as there is a need to process a smaller amount of biomass to obtain the pigments. This microalgae is promising in the field of genetic engineering. Therefore, the objective of this project is to increase the production of beta-carotene in D. salina by overexpression of the gene that encodes the PSY enzyme in chloroplast DNA, as well as to knock out the gene that encodes the LCY-E enzyme in the chloroplast genome using the technique from CRISPR/CAS9; finally, to use the continuous process as a tool for a better understanding of the production of carotenoids in wild and genetically modified cells, evaluating how the activation of carotenogenesis occurs to maximize the production of ²-carotene, as well as verify the genetic stability of the cells genetically modified.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: