iGEM Concordia 2014

Project Introduction

Unicellular microalgae are a varied group of organisms with excellent potential in applied and exploratory synthetic biology. Compared with the majority of other model and industrial organisms, most microalgae have the environmentally beneficial distinction of being able to carry out photosynthesis. With their photosynthetic and mixotrophic abilities, these organisms have the promise of becoming platforms for carbon-neutral production of both high value and inexpensive metabolites. Additionally, microalgae have the capability to express genes from plants, fungi and prokaryotes making them ideal hosts for combinatorial recombinant gene expression.

Non-engineered strains are already being used for biofuels and lipids. With the creation of standardised tools for the stable engineering of microalgae, the community will be able to continue asking deeper questions about basic biology and, drastically increase the promise of microalgae as an industrial chassis.

By building and characterising tools for genome scale engineering of multiple genera of microalgae, the Concordia iGEM team has made possible the use of industrially relevant photosynthetic microbes by iGEM teams and researchers alike.

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