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Title: Biotechnological development of the marine microalgae Nannochloropsis gaditana
Author: Jackson, Harry Oliver
ISNI:       0000 0004 7431 3181
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2018
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Marine microalgae are promising systems for biotechnology due to both their diversity and ability to produce a vast array of metabolites, many of which are precursors in the production of high-value products including fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Algae are also a potential source of sustainable and carbon neutral biofuels although large-scale production systems are currently in their infancy. To fully realize the potential of marine microalgae, non-model biotechnologically relevant strains must be further improved using genetic engineering in order to increase efficiency of production for commercial exploitation. However, the necessary genetic tools for such approaches are in need of development on a species-to-species basis before these needs can be met. This thesis describes the establishment and development of principle molecular technologies in the oleaginous biofuel candidate alga Nannochloropsis gaditana. An in situ fluorescent reporter system was established and used to characterize novel genetic elements; including the main component of an inducible expression system capable of precise temporal control of expression of transgenes through alteration of the growth media with no negative effect on growth rates. Additionally, a promoter-trapping pipeline was designed for the discovery of promoters that are highly expressed under specific environmental conditions. Also in N. gaditana, high-throughput screening of mutant strains was used to isolate cell lines with increased resistance to oxidative stress that exhibited improved growth in a variety of high light treatments, as well as strains with increased lipid accumulation. These contributions to the molecular toolkit for N. gaditana will further develop this phenotypically favorable strain towards its amenability to highly sophisticated genetic engineering approaches. Several of the technologies and strategies described may also have wider implications for improvement of other species of marine microalgae for biotechnology.
Supervisor: Bibby, Thomas Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available