The research could make algae-based starch for biofuels and renewable materials more economically feasible.
The team, led by Sousuke Imamura at the Laboratory for Chemistry and Life Science, Institute of Innovative Research, Tokyo Institute of Technology, discovered a “switch” that controls algae’s starch content. The study dramatically increased starch production by de-activating TOR, a protein kinase, in unicellular red alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae. After 48 hours, starch production increased ten-fold.
The findings were published in a recent issue of The Plant Journal.