Genetic Engineering to Improve Algal Biofuels Production

  • Beth A. Rasala
  • Javier A. Gimpel
  • Miller Tran
  • Mike J. Hannon
  • Shigeki Joseph Miyake-Stoner
  • Elizabeth A. Specht
  • Stephen P. Mayfield
Part of the Developments in Applied Phycology book series (DAPH, volume 5)


Microalgae are a diverse group of photosynthetic microorganisms with considerable potential as a source of bioenergy. Metabolic profiles, product yields, crop protection, and strain optimization influence production costs and therefore the feasibility of algal biofuels. Recent advances in microalgal genetic engineering offers the ability to generate transgenic strains with enhanced profiles for biofuel production. In this chapter we review the molecular tools and techniques developed for algae genetic engineering, including methods for genetic transformation and stable heterologous gene expression. Recent successes in algal genetic engineering to advance algal biofuels production are discussed, as well as potential ways to use molecular genetics for algal biotechnology in the future.


Metabolic Engineering Chloroplast Genome Biofuel Production Plastid Transformation Heterologous Gene Expression 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by a grant to SPM from the US Air Force (FA9550-09-1-0336) and a grant to BAR from the San Diego Foundation (C-2008-00296). JAG and MT were supported by Skaggs pre-doctoral fellowships.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beth A. Rasala
    • 1
  • Javier A. Gimpel
    • 1
  • Miller Tran
    • 1
  • Mike J. Hannon
    • 1
  • Shigeki Joseph Miyake-Stoner
    • 1
  • Elizabeth A. Specht
    • 1
  • Stephen P. Mayfield
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Biological SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA

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