Biotechnological Approaches To Enhance Halotolerance And Photosynthetic Efficacy In The Cyanobacterium, Fremyella Diplosiphon
MetadataShow full item record
Type of WorkText
ProgramDoctor of Philosophy
RightsThis item is made available by Morgan State University for personal, educational, and research purposes in accordance with Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. Other uses may require permission from the copyright owner.
Growing concerns over dwindling energy supplies linked to nonrenewable fossil fuels have driven profound interest in biofuels as a clean and sustainable alternative. Cyanobacteria are a promising source of third-generation biofuel due to their fast generation time and high net biomass conversion. In this study, the effect of salinity stress on Fremyella diplosiphon, a model organism for studying photosynthetic pathways, was investigated and nanobiotechnological approaches undertaken to enhance its halotolerance and photosynthetic efficacy. Heat-induced mutagenesis resulted in a mutant strain that could survive in 20 g L-1 sodium chloride (NaCl) with no loss in pigmentation. To further enhance F. diplosiphon halotolerance, expression plasmids harboring the hlyB and mdh genes were overexpressed in the wild type resulting in two transformants that thrived in 35 g L-1 NaCl, the average salinity of sea water. In addition, no significant reduction in photosynthetic efficacy was detected in the halotolerant strains relative to the wild type. Total lipid content and fatty acid methyl ester composition of wild type and halotolerant strains were assessed for their potential as a production-scale biofuel agent. Methyl palmitate, the methyl ester of hexodeconoate (C16:0), was found to be most abundant in the wild type and transformants accounting for 60-70% of total FAMEs produced. Efforts to enhance the photosynthetic efficiency of the strains revealed that gold nanoparticle-derived surface plasmon resonance augmented culture growth and pigment accumulation. Cell-nanoparticles interactions were visualized using scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Our findings address two key challenges that cyanobacterial biofuel agents need to overcome: enhanced halotolerance and photosynthetic efficacy to minimize freshwater input and artificial light supply. These innovations have paved the way for an efficient cyanobacterial cultivation system for large-scale production of biofuel.