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Modern chemical industry calls for new resource-efficient and sustainable value chains for production of key base chemicals such as polyamines. The green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii offers great potential as an innovative green-cell factory by combining fast and inexpensive, phototrophic growth with mature genetic engineering. Here, overexpression of recombinant lysine decarboxylases in C. reinhardtii enabled the robust accumulation of the non-native polyamine cadaverine, which serves as building block for bio-polyamides. The issue of low cell densities, limiting most microalgal cultivation processes was resolved by systematically optimizing cultivation parameters. A new, easy-to-apply and fully phototrophic medium enables high cell density cultivations of C. reinhardtii with a 6-fold increase in biomass and cell count (20 g/L biomass dry weight, ~2·108 cells/mL). Application of high cell density cultivations in established photobioreactors resulted in a 10-fold increase of cadaverine yields, with up to 0.24 g/L after 9 days and maximal productivity of 0.1 g/L/d. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Robert A Freudenberg, Thomas Baier, Alexander Einhaus, Lutz Wobbe, Olaf Kruse. High cell density cultivation enables efficient and sustainable recombinant polyamine production in the microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Bioresource technology. 2021 Mar;323:124542

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PMID: 33385626

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