Abstract: ‘Blue Biotechnology’ - light powered products from marine phytoplankton
Marine (or ‘blue’) biotechnology encompasses applications of molecular biology to realise the potential for exploiting the natural diversity found in marine environments in developing useful products and services. Blue biotechnology can consider marine resources as both the source and/or target of applications; notable success has been achieved in many fields including aquaculture, novel drugs and antibiotic discovery, bioremediation and sustainable fuels. This talk overviews our recent work applying insights into how phytoplankton use light and nutrients in oceanic systems to inform their biotechnological development. We outline how we have used methods such as single cell sorting, omics and synthetic biology to achieve enhancements in ‘photosynthetic efficiency’ that facilitate the development of phytoplankton as sustainable ‘biofactories’ for a range of high value products.