Biotechnology of photosynthetic organisms under stress conditions

Our main objective is to improve the productivity of photosynthetic microorganisms with applications in biotechnology and aquaculture. We focus our research on several model algae under different stress conditions.
One of our goals is to improve the primary productivity of diatoms algae under limiting conditions, such as iron limitation or stress induced by high light or temperature. These organisms are not only fundamental constituents of oceanic phytoplankton, contributing decisively to the fixation of CO2, but also have applications as a source of biomass, biofuels and chemical products of high value, animal feed and as a source of phytoplankton in aquaculture. However, the bioavailability of metals can limit the photosynthetic efficiency and primary productivity of microalgae, so we use the model diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum with the aim of generating new strains capable of a better growth under iron-limiting conditions. In addition, since microalgae are characterized by a high sensitivity to high light and temperature, it is intended to obtain modified strains more resistant to these two factors. Our work would result in an increase in the biotechnological capacities of aquaculture systems, both under climatic conditions that are usual in Spain, and that limit their commercial production, as well as in the coming global warming conditions.

An important aspect of our research is the use of a wide variety of biophysical, biochemical and molecular biology techniques, to address the proposed research and objectives from different approaches. Techniques used include thermoluminescence or modulated fluorescence (PAM), fluorescence microscopy or the application of time-resolved kinetic techniques, such as laser spectroscopy or stopped-flow spectrophotometry. In addition, we employ basic and advanced molecular biology techniques for the production of recombinant proteins, the generation of modified strains and their functional characterization.

- Improvement of primary productivity of microalgae under limiting conditions

- Alternative redox proteins in photosynthesis

PAIDI-Junta de Andalucía. Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades. Agroquivir SCA.
Selected Publications
Type: Publications in journals
Iron Deficiency Induces a Partial Inhibition of the Photosynthetic Electron Transport and a High Sensitivity to Light in the Diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum
Authors: Roncel, M., González-Rodríguez, A.A., Naranjo, B., Bernal-Bayard, P., Lindahl, A.M., Hervás, M., Navarro, J.A., Ortega, J.M.
Publication Year: 2016
Pages: 1050
Journal: Front. Plant. Sci.
Volume: 7
Type: Publications in journals
Interaction of photosystem I from Phaedactylum tricornutum with plastocyanins as compared with its native cytochrome c6: Reunion with a lost donor
Authors: Bernal-Bayard, P., Pallara, C., Castell, M.C., Molina-Heredia, F.P., Fernández-Recio, J., Hervás, M., Navarro, J.A.
Publication Year: 2015
Pages: 1549-1559
Journal: BBA
Volume: 1847
Construcción genética que codifica para el citocromo c y procedimiento de obtención.
Inventors: M.A. De la Rosa, B. De la Cerda, F.P. Molina-Heredia, V. Rodriguez, J.M. García-Heredia, M. Hervás, y J.A. Navarro
Date: 16/03/2009