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Genetic Improvement of Algae for Value Added Products

Genetic Improvement of Algae for Value Added Products

Objective

Microalgae are a highly promising resource for the sustainable production of a wide variety of biomaterials for a wide range of applications. Microalgae can transform solar energy at high efficiency directly into valuable biological products using marginal water resources, waste nutrients and exhaust CO2 without the needs for high value cropland. A wide variety of eukaryotic microalgae of high evolutionary diversity produce naturally valuable products like polyunsaturated fatty acids, carotenoids, medically active carbohydrates etc. Nevertheless only a few commercially viable algal products have entered the market. Algal cultivation and induction of high value product accumulation is a complex problem, algae grow in diluted solutions and require large areas and water volumes, causing high cultivation and harvesting costs and posing contamination problems and variable productivities due to climate variability. Genetic modifications to make microalgae better suit industrial applications are possible over a wide range of target mechanisms: stress tolerance, product accumulation pathways, cellular chlorophyll contents, novel metabolic pathways, resistance to pathogens and competition, etc. Due to the wide variability of algal strains under consideration, available techniques for genetic manipulations have to be adapted or developed for all algal strains of interest. Our consortium will adapt genetic engineering techniques to various algal strains of economic interest focusing on carotenoid and PUFA production and the overexpression of peptides of commercial value. In parallel we will develop cultivation technologies, harvesting and extraction methods for lipids, carotenoids and proteins using existing model algae strains that will then be adapted to suitable improved strains. Furthermore products will be tested for energy, pharmaceutical, nutritional or medical applications for economic evaluation of the production processes and their economic exploitation.
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Coordinator

BEN-GURION UNIVERSITY OF THE NEGEV

Address

.
84105 Beer Sheva

Israel

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 699 719,25

Administrative Contact

Schneider Dori (Ms.)

Participants (13)

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ROTHAMSTED RESEARCH LIMITED

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 520 181,75

JOHANN WOLFGANG GOETHE-UNIVERSITATFRANKFURT AM MAIN

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 402 879,60

GEORG-AUGUST-UNIVERSITAT GOTTINGENSTIFTUNG OFFENTLICHEN RECHTS

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 466 200

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 527 416

A4F ALGAFUEL SA

Portugal

EU Contribution

€ 400 550

ROSETTA GENOMICS LTD

Israel

UNIVERSITE DU MANS

France

EU Contribution

€ 487 730

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS

France

EU Contribution

€ 593 520

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI FIRENZE

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 487 682,40

ALGATECHNOLOGIES (1998) LTD

Israel

EU Contribution

€ 392 560

Nimrod Shaham & Amos Zamir Certified Public Accountants

Israel

EU Contribution

€ 120 000

ROSETTA GREEN LTD

Israel

EU Contribution

€ 412 898,40

A B SEEDS LTD

Israel

EU Contribution

€ 85 269,60

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 266401

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 January 2011

  • End date

    31 December 2013

Funded under:

FP7-KBBE

  • Overall budget:

    € 7 184 970,60

  • EU contribution

    € 5 596 607

Coordinated by:

BEN-GURION UNIVERSITY OF THE NEGEV

Israel