NANFA-- Genetically modified algae, reference

Bruce Stallsmith (
Fri, 29 Jun 2001 11:02:46 -0400

I found the source article describing genetically modified algae that are
modified to absorb glucose from their environment rather than relying on
photosynthesis. It's not a subtle article to find, it's the cover story in
_Science_ magazine of 15 June 2001, Vol. 292, on page 2073. The article is
"Trophic Conversion of an Obligate Photoautotrophic Organism Through
Metabolic Engineering" by Zaslavskaia, et al. In brief, the research group
introduced genes encoding glucose tranporters from several sources into a
diatom, _Phaeodactylum tricornutum_. The gene that worked best was a human
gene, _Glut1_, from human red blood cells. After reading the article I
realized that this organism couldn't possibly survive in the wild, because
it needs a steady stream of fairly concentrated glucose to survive. The
whole goal of the project is to create microorganisms for fermentation
cultures that will grow more quickly than through photosynthesis.
All in all interesting work; I hope other such successes are apparently so

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL, US of A

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