Towards the Genetic Manipulation of Microalgae to Improve the Carbon Dioxide Fixation and the Production of Biofuels: Present Status and Future Prospect
In recent years, interest in microalgae and its biotechnological use in the development of new technologies for the production of biofuels, high added-value compounds and the treatment of wastewater, among others, has increased considerably due to the fact that these microorganisms possess optimal growth properties, nutritional requirements and chemical composition making them a viable and natural alternative to the fossil fuels and the use of chemicals, which would reduce the greenhouse effect and the recent increment of the Earth average temperature. Nevertheless, in spite of all the optimal properties provided by the microalgae, the use of the genetic engineering, the synthetic biology and ultimately the manipulation of their genome is a challenge in development that would allow the improvement of microalgal strains, thus contributing to a greater efficiency and effectiveness in certain stages of the microalgae industry, as well as an enhancement in the yield and productivity, minimizing the economic costs derived from the total industrial process. Different approaches for the genetic manipulation of microalgae and its applications in biofuel production and carbon dioxide fixation, as well as its future implications for the biotechnological industry, are discussed and reviewed in the present chapter.
KeywordsMicroalgae Biofuels Carbon dioxide fixation Productivity Genetic manipulation
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