Cyanobacteria thrive in a diverse range of habitats. In the oceans they are estimated to fix 40 percent of total carbon globally. Long used as a simple model organism to study plant photosynthesis, they are becoming a platform for production of biofuels and industrially important compounds. All cyanobacteria carry out the key step of carbon fixation in large polyhedral protein assemblies known as carboxysomes, a self- assembling bacterial organelle.
The DOE JGI is currently sequencing the genomes of 50 diverse Cyanobacteria as part of the CyanoGEBA project. Related to this work, the proposal focuses on synthesizing genes that code for naturally occurring carboxysomes from a wide variety of organisms. Data collected from these genes have the potential to enhance carbon dioxide fixation and form novel biological compartments in cyanobacteria.
Proposer Names: Cheryl Kerfeld and Markus Sutter