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Algae biomass genetically increased

Nov. 25, 2011, Ames, IA - Scientists at Iowa State University have discovered a way to increase the biomass contained within algae by more than 50 percent, paving the way for surge in algae-derived biomass production.


November 25, 2011
By David Manly


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Nov. 25, 2011, Ames, IA – Scientists at Iowa State University have
discovered a way to increase the biomass contained within algae by more
than 50 percent, paving the way for surge in algae-derived biomass
production.

The genetically engineered algae have two genes turned on, LCIA and LCIB, which are normally only expressed when the algae is struggling to turn carbon dioxide into food. What the scientists discovered was that if the two genes were turned on in a carbon dioxide rich environment, photosynthesis would drastically increase.

In an article from Renewable Energy World, researcher Martin Spalding said that by further genetically altering the algae, it would be possible for them to produce oil instead of the natural starch.

"There is no doubt in my mind that this brings us closer [to affordable, domestic biofuel]," says Spalding.


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