Posewitz to present Biotechnology-Life Sciences Seminar Series talk Oct. 3

Matthew Posewitz
Matthew Posewitz

“Metabolic Pathway Manipulation in Phototrophic Microorganisms: Water Oxidation to Starch, Oils or Hydrogen,” will be presented 4 p.m. Oct. 3 by Matthew Posewitz, Colorado School of Mines. A reception will be held at 3:30 p.m. The event is open to the public.

Photosynthetic microorganisms are able to synthesize a diverse portfolio of renewable energy carriers with the potential to alleviate the environmental and political concerns associated with fossil energy utilization. Our recent research efforts have focused on manipulating biosynthetic pathways leading to either starch, triacylglycerols, fatty acid secretion, terpenes or hydrogen gas.

Specific examples include: manipulation of starch biosynthesis in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to significantly increase starch accumulation in nutrient replete medium, thioesterase gene expression to enable medium chain fatty acid accumulation in diatoms, or fatty acid secretion from cyanobacteria, manipulation of terpene biosynthetic pathways to produce beta-caryophyllene, a significant component of the oleoresin found in the “diesel tree”, and the integration of hydrogen and carbon metabolisms.

Posewitz's research haa attained the genome sequence and developed transformation protocols for the oleaginous alga Nannochloropsis gaditana, a particularly promising biofuel production strain. Genomic insights and next generation modifications to improve productivities will be presented.

The complete schedule of seminars may be found at http://biotech.unl.edu/

More details at: http://go.unl.edu/4pb