Professor Sallie Chisholm
PI at MIT
Professor Lina Yousef
PI at Masdar Institute
The proposed work involves studying the biological mechanisms of photorecepetion and carbon metabolism in a photosynthetic marine micro-alga Prochlorococcus marinus that was recovered from the Arabian Sea. Understanding how this organism receives the highest return-on-investment in terms of carbon fixed per photosynthetic apparatus will provide information on photosynthetic design which could potentially be used as a basis for engineering high carbon fixation efficiency into Bioenergy systems. The outcomes of this research will be used as a basis for (1) designing strategies for reducing light and nutrient requirements in bioreactors, (2) engineering high carbon fixation efficiencies into Bioenergy systems, and (3) identifying photosynthetic components that have utility in biosensor technologies.
The direct outcomes of this research will provide additional information on cyanobacterial biochemistry and physiology with relation to its ecology, and will advance knowledge related to photosynthetic processes. Additionally, results from this proposed work will be used as a basis for the development of energy efficient and renewable bio-based technologies.
Specifically, studying the biological mechanisms involving photorecepetion and carbon metabolism in Prochlorococcus could provide information that is useful for: (1) designing strategies for reducing light and nutrient requirements in bioreactors, (2) engineering high carbon fixation efficiencies into bioenergy systems, and (2) identifying photosynthetic components that have utility in biosensor technologies.
This complements Masdar Institute's effort in becoming the leader of R&D involving sustainable and energy efficient technologies. Moreover, the proposed work is directly relevant to Masdar Institute's mission to establish and continually evolve interdisciplinary collaborative research and development in advanced energy and sustainability, because this project will involve collaborative efforts between scientists with backgrounds in oceanography, microbiology, and molecular biology.