Omics of Algae

INDUSTRIAL BIOTECHNOLOGY  / Biofuels and Industrial Biotechnology

Research Interests

Integrated Omics, Algal Biotechnology, Synthetic Biology, Bioengineering, Bioinformatics, Biofuels, Transcriptional Engineering, Genomics, Metabolomics, Proteomics, Transcriptomics

Description of Research

Decreasing fossil fuels and its impact on global warming led to an increasing demand for its replacement by sustainable renewable biofuels. Microalgae may offer a potential feedstock for renewable biofuels capable of converting atmospheric CO2 to substantial biomass and valuable biofuels, which is of great importance for the food and energy industries. Algal Oils are rich in the triacylglycerols (TAGs) that serve as material for conversion to biofuels. Studies on the biosynthetic pathways and rate limiting steps of triacylglycerol formation in microalgae are still infancy.

Our research aims to study the overall TAG biosynthesis pathway, oil mobilization and role of beta-oxidation genes in TAG catabolism and also CRISPR-mediated silencing altering the lipid content with increase in overall lipid production or shift the balance of lipid production. These Microalgae, though cultivated under stress conditions, such as nutrient starvation, high salinity, high temperature etc. accumulate considerable amounts (up to 60–65% of dry weight) of lipids or carbohydrates along with several secondary metabolites.

Our focus on simultaneous production of lipids or carbohydrates for biofuel production and of secondary metabolites might allow the sustainable microalgal precursors along with emphasis of understanding these regulatory biosynthetic pathways at molecular level and the adaptation of systems-based approaches will lead towards metabolic engineering of ‘robust’ microalgae, a critical scenario of making algae-derived biofuels economically competitive. Integrated omics research is a powerful tool in understanding the behavior of biological systems as a whole, where the metabolic pathways are often highly regulated and connected with a number of both feedforward and feedback mechanisms that can act positively and/or negatively ultimately affecting the systems output.

Understanding the entire system through integrated omics research will lead to identify relevant enzyme-encoding genes, and reconstruct the metabolic pathways involved in the biosynthesis and degradation of precursor molecules that may have potential for biofuel production, aiming towards the vision of tomorrow’s bioenergy needs.

Recent Publications

Paliwal, C., Rehmanji, M., Shaikh, K. M., Zafar, S. U., and P.P. Jutur. Green extraction processing of hydrophobic value-added carotenoids in water-base ionic liquids as a sustainable innovation in algal biorefineries. Algal Research, 66: 102809, 2022

Rehmanji, M., Nesamma, A., Khan, N., Fatma, T., and P.P. Jutur. Media engineering in marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum employing cost-effective substrates for sustainable production of high value renewables. Biotechnology Journal, e2100684, 2022.

Kareya, M. S., Mariam, I., Rajacharya, G. H., Nesamma, A. A., and Jutur, P. P. Valorization of carbon dioxide (CO2) to enhance production of biomass, biofuels and biorenewables (B3) in Chlorella saccharophila UTEX247: A circular bioeconomy perspective. Biofuels, Bioproducts & Biorefining, 16: 682-697, 2022.

Singh, R., Nesamma, A. A., Narula, A., and P.P. Jutur. Multi-fold enhancement of tocopherol yields employing high CO2 supplementation and nitrate limitation in Monoraphidium sp. Cells, 11: 1315, 2022.

Mariam, I., Kareya, M, S., Rehmanji, M., Nesamma, A. A., and Jutur, P. P. Channelling of carbon flux towards carotenogenesis in Botryococcus braunii: A media engineering perspective. Frontiers in Microbiology, 12: 693106, 2021.

Paliwal, C., and P. P. Jutur. Dynamic allocation of carbon flux triggered by task-specific chemicals is an effective non-gene disruptive strategy for sustainable and cost-effective algal biorefineries. Chemical Engineering Journal, 418: 129413, 2021.