FURI | Spring 2024

Accelerating the Engineering of Cyanobacteria via recJ Knockout for D-lactate Production

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The newly discovered strain of cyanobacteria, Synechococcus sp. PCC 11901, is a promising candidate in biotechnology due to its natural transformability, short doubling time, and tolerance to high temperatures and salinities. This research analyzes the effects of recJ gene knockouts on the time required to engineer cyanobacteria by using D-lactate production as a case study. Such a knockout has previously been shown to increase transformation efficiency two-fold in PCC 6803. After transforming 11901 with the gene coding for D-lactate synthesis, the differences in D-lactate production between two sets of cyanobacteria with two different recJ deletions will be compared against each other, and also against a strain with no deletion.

Student researcher

Fatima Eldessouki

Chemical engineering

Hometown: Gilbert, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2025