Biofuels from Salt Basin Algae - A Renewable Energy Crop

The proposed research will result in the identification of optimal growth conditions for laboratory and native strains of Dunaliella and related salt-loving microalgae. This information will be used in implementation of room-scale and pilot-plant scale production systems by the end of year 1. Through mutant screens the project team will identify proprietary strains of Dunaliella and other salt-loving microalgae that will convert up to 50% of their biomass to triacylglycerols (TAGs) suitable for conversion to biodiesel. These improved strains will be deployed in the room-scale and pilot-plant scale production systems by the end of year 2. The complete genome sequence of Dunaliella salina CCAP 19/18 will be available by the end of 2007. The project team will leverage genomic resources and mRNA expression profiling to identify candidate genes that play key roles in the control of production TAGs or the elusive "lipid trigger" under conditions of nutrient starvation (nitrogen-deficiency in green algae) by the end of year 3. Such information will allow us to rationally manipulate TAG quality and quantity, and thus, to provide customized feedstocks for optimal biofuel production systems. Overall, these research aims are designed to provide a novel and fundamental advance in the ability to develop a biofuel crop ideally suited to the Great Basin's unique land and water resources.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Program Information: Advanced Research, Biobased Research


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    Department of Transportation
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Johnson, Shawn

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Nevada, Reno

    Reno, NV  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Cushman, John

  • Start Date: 20070715
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20100630
  • Source Data: RiP Project 31331

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01572233
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Department of Transportation
  • Files: RiP
  • Created Date: Aug 4 2015 1:01AM