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Overexpression of bicarbonate transporters in the marine cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 increases growth rate and glycogen accumulation

  • Gupta, Jai Kumar1
  • Rai, Preeti2
  • Jain, Kavish Kumar2
  • Srivastava, Shireesh1, 2
  • 1 International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), ICGEB Campus, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi, 110067, India , New Delhi (India)
  • 2 DBT-ICGEB Centre for Advanced Bioenergy Research, New Delhi, India , New Delhi (India)
Published Article
Biotechnology for Biofuels
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Jan 28, 2020
DOI: 10.1186/s13068-020-1656-8
Springer Nature


BackgroundSynechococcus sp. PCC 7002 is an attractive organism as a feedstock and for photoautotrophic production of biofuels and biochemicals due to its fast growth and ability to grow in marine/brackish medium. Previous studies suggest that the growth of this organism is limited by the HCO3− transport across the cytoplasmic membrane. Tools for genetic engineering are well established for this cyanobacterium, which makes it possible to overexpress genes of interest.ResultsIn this work, we overexpressed two different native Na+-dependent carbon transporters viz., SbtA and BicA in Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 cells under the influence of a strong light-inducible promoter and a strong RBS sequence. The overexpression of these transporters enhanced biomass by about 50%, increased intracellular glycogen about 50%, and increased extracellular carbohydrate up to threefold. Importantly, the biomass and glycogen productivity of the transformants with air bubbling was even higher than that of WT cells with 1% CO2 bubbling. The overexpression of these transporters was associated with an increased carotenoid content without altering the chl a content.ConclusionsOur work shows the utility of increased carbon transport in improving the growth as well as product formation in a marine cyanobacterium and will serve to increase the utility of this organism as a potential cell factory.

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