FURI | Fall 2023, Summer 2023

Overexpression of Cyanobacterial Hydrogenase to Increase Biomass Productivity in the Dark

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The goal for this project is to genetically modify cyanobacteria such that they produce an excessive amount of the enzyme hydrogenase. This is achieved by replacing the natural promoter of hydrogenase genes with two powerful synthetic promoters, Pcpt and J23119. This will allow the altered strain to use hydrogen as an energy source to continue doubling even when exposed to low light levels. The cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. PCC 11901 will be utilized to evaluate and test the suggested concept. The altered strains will be compared to the parent strain in terms of chlorophyll content, biomass productivity under varying light intensities, and growth with H2 and CO2 supply.

Student researcher

Reem Alameri

Chemical engineering

Hometown: Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Graduation date: Spring 2024