Enhacing Algae Production
Novel algae strains can be developed for economically competitive biofuel production. Although several of the algae species known today have high levels of lipid/carbohydrate production, in the end it would be desirable to have species that are optimized for biomass production in photo-bioreactors while yielding optimum amounts of lipid and/or carbohydrate for biofuel production.
Since candidate species were not naturally designed for biofuel production under controlled conditions it is extremely unlikely that temperature tolerance, biomass production and lipid or carbohydrate content will be optimum for a single growth condition (C02 source, nitrogen and phosphorus type, pH, ionic strength and the like).
For example, it has been shown that with Botryococcus braunii an increase in nitrate increases the biomass, but decreases the hydrocarbon production (Metzger and Largeau, 2005). Genetic engineering technologies could be used to generate novel algae strains with desired commercial properties. This is accomplished by combining the power of biotechnology through cutting edge genetic engineering and proteomics to develop high value products for the biofuel industry and markets.