Inducing Coordinated Sexual Reproduction in Diatoms

Summary

Technology Description

 

This technology describes a simple and efficient way of inducing coordinated sexual reproduction in two strains of the centric diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana, and two other centric diatom species, Thalassiosira weissflogii and Cyclotella cryptica. This technology is likely applicable across all diatoms. Induction of the sexual lifecycle in aquatic ecosystems is likely to increase the sinking potential of biogenic carbon. The newfound ability to control sexual reproduction in diatoms could offer a better way of manipulating diatom genetics through breeding and genetic transformation to fully appreciate the functional potential of diatom traits.

 

Features & Benefits

 

  • Fully controlled and coordinated sexual reproduction in diatoms allowing genetic modification

 

Applications

 

  • Inducing coordinated sexual reproduction in diatoms

 

Background of Invention

 

Diatoms are unicellular algae that use photosynthesis to assimilate at least 20% of CO2 on the planet. Ocean fertilization is one approach to increase the flux of organic carbon into the aquatic biosphere. Diatoms have many biotechnological applications including materials chemistry, biomedicine, and biofuels. The defining characteristic of diatoms is their finely detailed silica cell walls. A major goal is to understand the process of biological silica deposition at micro- and nanoscales for use in bio-sensing, drug delivery, and fabrication of nanostructures. Diatoms could also be a potential high energy feedstock because of high lipid and protein content in their residual biomass. Furthermore, they can be grown in seawater where they minimally compete with resources for growing traditional feedstock. To commercialize diatoms for applications mentioned above will potentially require genetic manipulation. However, gene transfer has not been very successful in diatoms, probably because of their silica cell wall.

 

Status

 

Patent pending and available for licensing

 

 

Patent Information:
Tech ID:
OSU-16-68
Contact:
Joe Christison
IP & Licensing Manager
Oregon State University
541-737-9016
joe.christison@oregonstate.edu
Inventors:
Eric Moore
Kimberly Halsey
Keywords:
algae
Ammonia
Biofuels
Biological & Environmental Engineering
Climate Change
diatom
Microbiology
Oceanography
reproduction
sex
© 2017. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Inteum