Synthetic Genomics Inc. Announces Breakthrough In Algae Biofuel Research
On June 19, 2017, Synthetic Genomics Inc. announced a breakthrough in its collaboration with ExxonMobil involving the modification of an algae strain that more than doubled its oil content to 40 percent without significantly inhibiting the strain’s growth. Synthetic Genomics researchers identified a genetic switch that could be fine-tuned to regulate the conversion of carbon to oil in the algae species, Nannochloropsis gaditana, and established a proof-of-concept approach for the new process. The achievement is a key milestone in the partnership that aims to demonstrate that algae can be incredibly productive as a renewable energy source with a corresponding positive contribution to our environment. Additional research, testing, and analysis is required to ensure the process is commercially viable.