Within its activities relating to biofuels, AlgaEnergy opened its own research program in 2010 named GENETDIESEL, consisting in “Microalgae and cyanobacteria selection and genetic improvement for the production of biodiesel”. The purpose of this program is to have microalgae and cyanobacteria strains that, through genetic engineering and metabolic modification, increase their capacity to produce lipids which can be converted into biodiesel and other biofuels, in conditions of active growth outdoors.
This project is being developed by two research teams, “Gene expression and signal transduction in photosynthetic organisms” and “Microalgae Biotechnology” by the Institute of Plant Biochemistry and Photosynthesis, involving eleven researchers and doctors, led by Professor Francisco Javier Florencio Bellido and Professor Miguel Garcia Guerrero, from the University of Seville.
Some of the results obtained are remarkable, such as:
- Increase of up to 30% in the cellular content of fatty acids in some cyanobacteria, by genetic modifications
- By metabolic engineering a new strain has been obtained, which contains mutations in different metabolic routes, and contains an extra-cellular content of fatty acids which doubles the content of the original strain
Out of GENETDIESEL three new patents are derived.