Stress priming for improved production of biotech-relevant compound in green alga

Project Summary

Unicellular algae form a powerful biotechnological warehouse for production of chemical compounds. However, algae commercial potential can be fully revealed only after deepening the understanding of their fundamental processes. Triacylglycerols (TAGs) are lipids that can be used as the precursors in biodiesel production. Model green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, accumulate TAGs in stress conditions, like nitrogen deprivation. TAGs accumulation is reversible and chromatin-based, features that make this process a potential subject for stress priming - a phenomenon that was not explored in algae; yet it offers important opportunity to increase stress-induced TAGs bioproduction. Here, we are proposing a non-hardware project to establish Chlamydomonas growth protocols in stress priming setup. I will optimize priming conditions and measure TAGs content through Nile Red staining with fluorescence microscopy analysis.

The aim of the project is to provide proof-of-principle evidence for stress priming in algae, which will ultimately lead to potentially improved yields of biotech-relevant compounds. The results will serve as a resource for industrial and scientific community.