Host: Professor Kyle Lauersen
The Cyanidiophyceae encompass a class of polyextremophilic algae found worldwide in extreme environments. The most well-studied strains were isolated from acidic hot springs and display optimum growth temperatures between 40 and 50 oC and pH tolerance from pH 0.5 to 5.0. Lineages within the genus Galdieria grow photoautotrophically as well as mixotrophically and heterotrophically on dozens of organic compounds. Lineages in the genus Cyanidioschyzon are obligate photoautotrophs. Galdieria and Cyanidioschyzon species grow very well together in binary cultures. When provided with a waste carbon source they exchange O2 and CO2, and thus become independent of the need for external gas supplies, lowering cultivation costs and energy inputs. These characteristics afford opportunities for these algae to be cultivated under non-sterile conditions on a wide variety of high-strength wastewaters from municipalities, fish and animal production facilities, and kinds of food and beverage manufacturing. Both genera include species that can be readily transformed with exogenous DNA molecules pre-programmed to integrate at precise chromosomal locations via homologous recombination. The presentation will focus on opportunities to blend the unique metabolic capabilities of Cyanidiophyceae with metabolic engineering tools being developed at KAUST and ASU to convert abundant and readily available waste streams into new chemical feedstocks, pigments, and essential components for animal, fish and shrimp production.
Peter Lammers, is the Chief Scientist at the Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation at Arizona State University. He completed a PhD at Portland State University in Environmental Chemistry and postdoctoral training at the University of Chicago in Molecular Genetics.