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  English.dicp.cas.cn    Posted:2017-06-19
Microalgal Triacylglycerol: Biosynthesis, Regulation and Biotechnological Implications

Time: June 19, 2017 13:30 PM

Venue: Room 406, Bio-Tech Building

Lecturer: LIU jin, Professor College of Engineering, Peking University

Abstract:
Triacylglycerols (TAGs) are energy-rich lipids essential for human nutrition, chemical industries and the production of high-energy density fuels. Many oleaginous microalgae can produce high level of intracellular TAGs as the storage compounds, triggering substantial interest in exploring microalgae as biofuel feedstock. Efforts have been made for the further improvement of TAG, as TAG yield from the naturally occurring microalgal strains currently used for oil production are far below the theoretical maximum. The genetic manipulation of microalgae for improved oil production, however, has achieved only limited success, owing largely to the incomplete understanding of pathways and regulation of lipid metabolism. TAG biosynthesis is mediated mainly via two pathways, acyl-CoA independent pathway and acyl-CoA dependent Kennedy pathway. In Kennedy pathway, DGAT catalyzes the committed step and is believed to play essential roles in TAG synthesis and accumulation. Typically, microalgae have a greater dose of DGAT-encoding genes than higher plants, e.g., six in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, 13 in Nannochloropsis oceanica, and 11 in Chlorella zofingiensis. In this talk, I will present the functional characterization of DGATs from these species, the possible mechanisms for their roles in TAG biosynthesis, and engineering efforts for rational improvement in oil production. The future direction of my research will also be briefly introduced.

Introduction:
Professor Liu joined Peking University in 2015 as National Youth Thousand Talents Program Fellow and PI of Department of Energy and Resources Engineering. He received a BSc in biology and an MSc in biochemistry and molecular biology from Sun Yat-sen University, and a PhD in algal biotechnology from The University of Hong Kong. Before joining Peking University, he worked in Arizona State University as a postdoc associate and in University of Maryland as an assistant research scientist. Broadly trained and highly experienced molecular biologist and phycologist with interdisciplinary background. Particular areas of expertise include molecular biology, genetic engineering, biotechnology, transcriptomics, mass cultivation, algal physiology, algal biofuels and high-value products. Published over 40 peer-reviewed research articles on top journals of algae fields, including Biotechnology for Biofuels, Plant Journal, Metabolic Engineering, Food Chemistry, Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Algal Research, wrote six book chapters in Elsevier and Wiley-Blackwell and edited a book “Recent Advances in Microalgal Biotechnology” published by Omics group in 2016. He hosted one research project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and “985 platform project” of Peking University, and co-hosted Singapore-Peking University Research Centre for a Sustainable Low-Carbon program, the TEDCO program of American and national key research and development plan.

Contact: Prof. XUE Song, Group 1812
Phone: 84379069

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