Extracting high value products from microalgae requires the disintegration of the tough algal cell wall which microalgae need to resist physical forces, pathogens and predators.

Objective/mission (The vision): To engineer algae with genes that initiate cell rupture, to render harvested microalgae biomass soft and easily extractable.

Research approach (The initiative): Using CRISPR as a technique, we will construct gene cassettes to produce cell wall dissolving enzymes able to be induced to a high level in algal cultures using a simple chemical signal.

Impacts and applications: This engineering project will simplify microalgal biotechnology and reduce costs.

Project members

Key contacts

Professor Ben Hankamer

Director, IMB Centre for Solar Biotechnology
Professorial Research Fellow - GL
Institute for Molecular Bioscience

Dr Ian Ross

Senior Biologist
Institute for Molecular Bioscience