Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
The Sucrose Factory: Engineering cyanobacteria to sink carbon dioxide by producing sucrose
In 2017, humans released ~32.5 gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Even if anthropogenic carbon emissions ended today, the CO2 in our atmosphere would persist for thousands of years, causing ocean acidification and global warming. Current carbon sink technology is not economically feasible and would cost trillions of dollars at modest estimates. We believe the solution lies in cyanobacteria – photosynthetic prokaryotes – as they were the first organisms to sink carbon dioxide billions of years ago and are some of the most efficient autotrophs. Our approach is to induce sucrose secretion for the industrial production of biofuels and bioplastics, while simultaneously sinking CO2. Additionally, to address the lack of promoters available for cyanobacteria synthetic biology research, our team characterized a variety of promoter sequences for our strain of Synechococcus elongatus.
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