Monday, January 24
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Eastern
Dr. Tasios Melis of UC Berkeley, a pre-eminent researcher in the field of Photobiological Hydrogen Production, will be providing an overview of his invention disclosing methods and compositions to minimize the chlorophyll antenna size of photosynthesis by decreasing the expression of the novel TLA1 gene, thereby improving solar conversion efficiencies and photosynthetic productivity in plants and algae.
Photobiological generation of hydrogen, fuels, and synthetic chemistry feedstock requires maximal energy conversion efficiencies in photosynthesis. Improvements by up to 300% in solar energy conversion efficiency and photosynthetic productivity can be achieved in plants and algae upon minimizing, or truncating, the chlorophyll antenna size of the photosynthetic apparatus. Methods to minimize the chlorophyll antenna size of photosynthesis by decreasing the expression of the novel TLA1 gene were developed, enabling improved solar conversion efficiencies and photosynthetic productivity. This new invention and enabling technology has broad positive implications for mass culture productivity. A truncated light-harvesting chlorophyll antenna size (TLA1 gene suppression), in various classes of photosynthetic organisms, helps to alleviate excess absorption of sunlight and the ensuing shading and wasteful dissipation of excitation energy. It improves sunlight penetration and maximizes solar-to-product energy conversion efficiency in high-density mass cultures. The TLA1 gene suppression concept may thus find application in the commercial exploitation of microalgae and plants for the generation of hydrogen, biofuels, biomass, chemical feedstock, as well as nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals.
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