Chinese scientists intend to build a cell factory from blue-green algae



Chinese scientists intend to build a cell factory from blue-green algae

Theoretically, this type of algae is able to produce all the same substances as plants in nature

Chinese scientists are developing a biological “cell factory” from blue-green algae, using air as the main raw material. These cells, known as cyanobacteria, have been modified using synthetic biotechnology such as gene editing to produce a range of organic compounds including glucose, sucrose, glycerol, resveratrol and curcumin.

Rows of bottles and tubes filled with green liquid containing modified blue-green algae cells can be seen in the lab at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. The lab owner, Ni Jun, explains that these algae have the potential to produce all the substances that plants produce.

Blue-green algae can be used in industrial production to reduce the cost of producing substances such as resveratrol, which is often used in skin care products. Ni’s team has already achieved a breakthrough in combining cyanobacteria with industrial bacteria to produce a wider range of targeted products. This is reported by
Xinhua News Agency, a partner of TV BRICS.

According to Ni, the technology holds great promise and can be applied to medicine, the chemical industry and agriculture. A production line is currently under construction to produce value-added products.

The idea has been confirmed in research published in the renowned academic journal Angewandte Chemie. The researchers compare cyanobacteria and industrial bacteria to two birds working together to achieve a common goal.

Using the technologies developed by Ni’s team, commercial production has already begun. A production line is being built that will be capable of producing up to 10 tonnes of value-added products per year.

Photo: Xinhua News Agency




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