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Systems biology of fatty acid biosynthesis in marine microorganisms

Systems biology of fatty acid biosynthesis in marine microorganisms

This project will focus on the natural processing of fats and oils in the marine habitat and specifically by marine microorganism.

Project leader

Professor Grant Burgess


March 2008 to February 2011

Project staff

Dr Jarka Glassey

Jinwei Zhang (CASE Student)

Christopher Magin (MSc)

Nithyalakshmy Rajarajan (MSc)





There is increasing demand for biomass to provide natural and pure industrial chemicals. This preferred over petroleum.

One enormous challenge is to develop a range of bioprocesses for industry needs. These bioprocesses convert convert or process chemically complex biological mixtures into pure chemicals.

Nature already processes biological materials using complex arrays of enzymes. These form regulated biosynthetic / biodegradative pathways.

Enzyme systems from terrestrial organisms provide the basis for the majority of known industrial enzymatic processes. These processes produce pure chemicals.

The sea is a major source of biomass for food and energy. It is becoming an increasingly significant source of biomass for the production of fine chemicals.

The diversity of marine organisms is greater than any other environment. It remains relatively untapped.