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(BBSRC DTP) Engineering novel stress-resilient microalgae strains as improved platform strains for industrial biotechnology

Project Description

Microalgae have potential as photosynthetic cell factories for the production of chemicals and metabolites that can be used for industrial applications or as platform strains for the production of recombinant proteins. To harness the full potential of microalgae for industrial biotechnology, strains need to be resilient to withstand the stresses of mass cultivation and avoid an expensive ‘culture crash’, and need to be able to tolerate the expression of potentially toxic recombinant proteins. This project aims to improve our understanding of the processes by which microalgae can be engineered to gain increased stress tolerance. We have previously identified potential genetic targets of stress response in the model algal species Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. This project will examine the function of these genes in more detail by genetic and biochemical analysis and then will use the best targets to generate stress resilient microalgae strains by genetic engineering. The improved characteristics of these strains will be tested by performing pilot-scale cultivation and production of downstream products. The project will provide training in a variety of experimental techniques and disciplines including molecular cell biology, genetic engineering, and microalgal biotechnology. This project will therefore provide the student with a broad interdisciplinary training, giving them high level skills in a range of techniques needed to pursue a career in academic or industrial biotechnology research.

Entry Requirements:
Applications are invited from UK/EU nationals only. Applicants must have obtained, or be about to obtain, at least an upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject.

Funding Notes

This project is to be funded under the BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership. If you are interested in this project, please make direct contact with the Principal Supervisor to arrange to discuss the project further as soon as possible. You MUST also submit an online application form - full details on how to apply can be found on the BBSRC DTP website View Website

As an equal opportunities institution we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.

How good is research at The University of Manchester in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 42.13

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