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

Professorial Research Fellow
Institute for Molecular Bioscience

Dr Ian Ross

Senior Biologist
Institute for Molecular Bioscience