U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights


New Insights on Algal Metabolism
Published: August 02, 2011
Posted: August 31, 2011

Photosynthetic algae are a potential bioenergy source; however, significant unknowns about their basic metabolic properties have hindered development of algae for biofuel production. DOE researchers now present a new metabolic network reconstruction and a genome-scale model of light-driven metabolism for the alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. This approach represents a significant advance over previous metabolic models for this organism since it incorporates greatly improved functional gene annotations, experimental validation of gene expression, and quantitative reaction measurements under different light conditions. This model allows enhanced understanding and prediction of photosynthetic growth properties (including lipid synthesis) under varying conditions and provides a broad knowledgebase of potential targets for directed metabolic engineering. This publication was featured in the Editor’s Choice section of the August 12th issue of Science.

Reference: Chang, R. L., L. Ghamsari, A. Manichaikul, E. F. Hom, S. Balaji, W. Fu, Y. Shen, T. Hao, B. Palsson, K. Salehi-Ashtiani, and J. A. Papin. 2011. "Metabolic Network Reconstruction of Chlamydomonas Offers Insight into Light-Driven Algal Metabolism," Molecular Systems Biology 7:518. DOI:10.1038/msb.2011.52. (Reference link)

Contact: Joseph Graber, SC-23.2, (301) 903-1239
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Genomic Analysis and Systems Biology
  • Research Area: Microbes and Communities
  • Research Area: Sustainable Biofuels and Bioproducts
  • Research Area: Biosystems Design
  • Research Area: Computational Biology, Bioinformatics, Modeling

Division: SC-23.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER

 

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