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Crop Biotech Update

Enhanced Free Fatty Acid Production of Synechocystis sp. by Deletion of the CyAbrB2

January 20, 2016

The cyAbrB2 (Sll0822) transcriptional regulator in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 is involved in coordination of carbon and nitrogen metabolism. Its deletion causes distinct phenotypes such as decreased expression of nitrogen-regulated genes and high accumulation of glycogen granules. The highly accumulated glycogen granules in the ΔcyabrB2 mutant could be a valuable source for the production of biofuels.

Akihito Kawahara of the KAO Corporation in Japan and colleagues from various Japanese agencies and universities modify the ΔcyabrB2 mutant. The team disrupted the aas gene (slr1609) encoding acyl–acyl carrier protein synthetase and introduced a gene encoding thioesterase from Umbellularia californica (UcTE) to enable ΔcyabrB2 mutant to produce and secrete free fatty acids.

The resulting strain had decreased expression genes related to uptake and metabolism of nitrogen and carbon, as well as significantly higher free fatty acid productivity. This shows the potential of the ΔcyabrB2 mutant as the platform of biofuel production.

For more on the study, read the article on Journal of Biotechnology.