Center for Microalgal Biotechnology and Biofuels
The Center for Microalgal Biotechnology and Biofuels (CMBB) was established in July 2013, aiming to carry out innovative research on the fundamental microalgal biology and to develop key technologies for accelerating commercialization of the microalgae with great potentials in energy, food and feed applications.
CMBB has developed a series of products, technologies and processes with independent intellectual property rights, and is continuously providing technical support for IP transfer and commercialization. The R&D activities in CMBB include strain development, designing and manufacturing of new photobioreactor systems, large-scale cultivation technology innovation, crop protection, harvesting, products biorefinery and techno-economic analysis. There are 815 sets of scientific research instruments with a total value of ￥ 22.97 million.
Up to now, CMBB has been awarded with research funds over ￥ 70 million by a number of sponsors, including NSFC, MOST, CAS and industrial partners. CMBB has held many international conferences and events, including the influential 4th Asia Pacific algae Innovation Summit held in 2016 with more than 600 participants from 40 countries and regions. CMBB has applied for 32 invention patents, 10 of which have been authorized, and has published over 50 research papers since 2013.
In close collaboration with the Microalgal Biotechnology Center of the State Development and Investment Corporation, CMBB has built a world-class microalgae pilot scale test bed, which has promoted the industrialization of microalgae bioenergy in China. The developed technologies have been transformed and applied in the fields of human health and animal nutrition. At the same time, CMBB provides technical and consulting services for a number of small enterprises, aiming to promote industrial development through scientific and technological innovation.
Director: HU Qiang
Deputy Director: HAN Danxiang
Research Group of Algal Lipid Metabolism and Functional Genomics
PI: HAN Danxiang, PhD
The Research Group of Algal Lipid Metabolism and Functional Genomics, affiliated to CMBB, mainly focuses on the fundamental biology and biotechnology of microalgal lipids, with the aim to improve the capabilities of microalgae in producing oils and other high value-added products through genetic engineering.
Current research interests:
* Biogenesis of lipid bodies (LB) in microalgae
LB are organelles that store triacylglycerol in eukaryotic cells. LB are formed under stress conditions, distinguishable from the constitutive organelles. However, biogenesis of microalgal LB is poorly understood. This group utilizes the approaches of molecular and cell biology and biochemistry to uncover the biogenesis of LB in microalgal cells and to dissect the functions of the genes involved in such a process.
* Design and development of microalgal cell factories for functional lipids production
Microalgae are capable of producing a variety of functional lipids with unique structures. Based on the understanding of the functions of those key genes involved in lipid biosynthesis, this group is utilizing the synthetic tools to develop microalgal cell factories for industrial applications.