Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Plant Research
Lian Jackson - University of Maryland Baltimore County
Co-Author(s): Binika Chunara, Baltimore City Community College, Baltimore, MD; Rose Gbemefu, Baltimore City Community College, Baltimore, MD
Algae are plant-like organisms that can be used for sustainable production of biofuels and other commercially valuable products. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a single celled green alga, has been used as a model organism to research algal biofuel production, due to its sequenced genome, ability to be genetically manipulated and its relatively fast growth rate. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is limiting for algal growth, so it is believed that certain enzymes that function in the Calvin cycle, which converts CO2 into carbohydrates, may be key targets for improving photosynthesis and growth. We are testing the idea that overexpressing FBA will increase flux through the Calvin cycle in algae. Using recombinant DNA and biolistic transformation techniques, we generated C. reinhardtii transformants that contain the coding region for C. reinhardtii FBA under the control of psbD and psbA 5’ and 3’ regulatory sequences, respectively, integrated into the chloroplast genome. Western blot analysis showed that transgenic FBA accumulates in the transformants. We are currently using an algal multicultivator to compare the growth rate of the best expressing transformants to that for the recipient (wild type) strain. If overexpression of FBA improves C. reinhardtii growth, we will apply these methods to other algae, such as the biotechnology production organism Chlorella vulgaris.Chlamy Abstract FBA ERN .docx
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Acknowledgements: These results were obtained as part of the Research Experience and Mentoring (REM) program in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. This program is funded by a grant (REM supplement to NSF-EFRI-1332344) from the National Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Engineering (ENG) Office of Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI).
Faculty Advisor: Stephen M. Miller, email@example.com
Role: I preformed the analysis (Western Blot) which consisted of having to trouble shoot multiple issues, and tested growth rate by running a couple of growth runs.