Sayre Research Team
|Dr. Sayre's research group is internationally known for improving algae as a feedstock for biofuels. His algae implant biology program includes using algae to control mosquito populations that carry malaria and for vaccine delivery in agricultural applications. The group works with a variety plants investigating characteristics of various biofuels feedstocks and improving plant nutritional content and productivity.||
The Grand Challenge in Global Health Program of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funds the Bio Cassava Plus program. The NMC’s role in this program includes; increasing bio-available levels of iron in roots, reducing cyanogen toxicity, increasing root protein content, reducing root post-harvest physiological deterioration, and developing root-specific promoters for transgene expression in cassava. Other NMC research programs in cassava look at starch metabolism and biofuel production from cassava.
Algal Health for Biofuels
In order to ensure the health of the algae essential for biofuel production, Dr. Sathish Rajamani of the Sayre team investigates strategies for containment of organisms such as rotifers that can cause infestations and wipe out the algae population. Below is a video of a Brachionus rotifer feeding on Platymonas (unicellular algae):
This program develops the components of a commercially viable biofuel production systems. The team develops transgenic microalgae with increased photosynthetic efficiency and enhanced oil production. They explore novel oil extraction technologies that reduce biofuel production costs.
Microalgal biotechnology research at the NMC includes:
- Development of photosynthetic carbon reduction pathways in green algae and plants.
- Research on synthetic carbon fixation pathways to meet domestic energy demands and sustainable production.
- Improving photosynthetic efficiency and carbon concentrating efficiency in biofuel feedstocks. See this News Highlight!
- Investigating strategies for containment of organisms that affect the health/yield of the algae essential for biofuel production.