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Engineering of Algal Chassis for Biosynthesis

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CD Biosynsis is committed to expanding the genetic manipulation toolbox to facilitate the development of algae as chassis stains for synthetic biology, helping our customers break bottlenecks in the development of algal synthetic biology. Our scientists can combine their knowledge of algae biotechnology with synthetic biology techniques to leverage the biodiversity of algae and their unique features to advance their applications in diverse industries.


Engineering of Algal Chassis for Synthetic Biology

As photosynthetic organisms, algae can absorb solar energy, convert atmospheric carbon dioxide to oxygen, and produce a variety of secondary metabolites such as alkaloids, carbohydrates, lipids, glycosides, and other bioactive molecules. Algae can be broadly categorized into macroalgae and microalgae. With the increasing number of published whole-genome sequences, algae are considered as promising chassis in synthetic biology in addition to bacterial and fungi. However, the application of synthetic biology in algae still lags significantly behind that of E. coli and yeast due to the lack of genetic tools. Further development of molecular and synthetic biology tools applicable to algae will be of significant scientific value.

What We Can Do

CD Biosynsis has developed different cultivation systems to support the photoautotrophic, heterotrophic and mixotrophic growth of different algae species. Our experts are working to develop more robust high throughput methods to accelerate iterative Design-Build-Test-Learn (DBTL) cycles that drive algal synthetic biology. We are constantly incorporating emerging algae technologies into our synthetic biology platform to provide our customers with the ideal chassis to support downstream applications.

Expanding toolbox for algal synthetic biology – CD Biosynsis

Applications of Algal Chassis

Algae have been estimated to include more than 30,000 species. CD Biosynsis has been studying the biological properties of different types of algae and determining their value as synthetic biology chassis. We are able to use our expertise and experience to support our customers in developing diverse applications of algae in the biotechnology, chemical, pharmaceutical, food, agricultural, bioenergy, environmental and many other industries.

Algae Classification Examples Features Examples of Applications
Chlorophyceae (green algae) Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
  • The longest and most intensively studied biological model organism.
  • Haploid genotype, fast growth, and high transformation efficiency.
  • An emerging system as a photosynthetic chassis.
  • Widely used in the study of photosynthesis and various biological processes.
  • Development of channelrhodopsin-based optogenetic tools.
  • Production of biopharmaceuticals and biofuels (e.g., therapeutic proteins and biohydrogen).
Chlorella vulgaris
  • Rapid growth rates and high photosynthetic abilities.
  • A promising species for mass cultivation and biomass production.
  • Production of food supplements and biofuel (e.g., chlorophyll, flavonoids, lipids, and biodiesel).
Phaeophyceae (brown algae) Ectocarpus siliculosus
  • The genome sequence is available.
  • A genomic and genetic model organism for brown algal biology.
  • Production of alginate and alginate lyase.
Bacillariophyceae (diatoms) Phaeodactylum tricornutum
  • The genome sequence and genetic tools are available.
  • Fast growth and easy culture.
  • Non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) capacity.
  • Production of nanomaterials and high-value chemicals (e.g., geraniol, eicosapentaenoic acid, and silver nanoparticles).

In addition to the major types of algae listed above, we have been continuously exploring the application potential of different classes of algae, such as Chrysophyceae (golden algae), Xanthophyceae (yellow-green algae), Cryptophyceae, Dinophyceae, Chloromonadineae, Euglenineae, Rhodophyceae (red algae), and Myxophyceae (blue green algae).

Want to Learn More?

CD Biosynsis has been continuously expanding our synthetic biology toolbox and keeping our knowledge and skills current. We provide full support for our customers' innovations in synthetic biology. If you require any further details, please feel free to contact us and let us know how we can support your new idea or project.


  1. Wang B, et al. Application of synthetic biology in cyanobacteria and algae. Frontiers in microbiology, 2012, 3: 344.
  2. Naduthodi M I S, et al. Synthetic biology approaches to enhance microalgal productivity. Trends in Biotechnology, 2021, 39(10): 1019-1036.

Please note that all services are for research use only. Not intended for any clinical use.

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