Research highlight

Genome sequence of lipid-producing algae

Nature Communications

February 22, 2012

The draft genome sequence of the lipid-producing algae Nannochloropis gaditana is reported in a study published in Nature Communications this week. These findings provide further insight into the biosynthetic pathways of this algae that result in lipid production, which could be exploited for biofuel production. Several species of Nannochloropis are being exploited for biofuel production; however it is difficult to manipulate these organisms to enhance lipid production. Matthew Posewtiz and colleagues report the draft sequence of Nannochloropis gaditana and identify genes involved in the formation of glycerolipids. The researchers also demonstrate a genetic transformation method for this strain, which will allow further manipulation of the algae in the laboratory. These findings may aid in the further identification of key genes that could be targeted for knockout or over-expression and aid in the more efficient of lipids for use in biofuels.

doi: 10.1038/ncomms1688

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