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Team "Bioenergies and Microalgae"

How do photosynthetic microorganisms fix CO2 and synthesize fatty acids, lipids and biohydrocarbons?

A drawing of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (credit S. Moulin)

Fundamental research in the fields of lipid metabolism and atmospheric carbon fixation in photosynthetic microorganisms (microalgae, cyanobacteria).

The objectives of the EBM team are to understand the photosynthetic mechanisms of conversion and storage of light energy into organic compounds by microalgae or cyanobacteria, to identify the regulatory mechanisms and to propose innovative strategies for the improvement of the production capacities of energy-rich molecules (lipids and biohydrocarbons derived from fatty acids, starch) or molecules with added value (particular fatty acids, pigments, etc.).

The research is based on genetic, biochemical and biophysical approaches developed on model organisms such as Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to identify the key genes of photosynthesis and lipid metabolism, and on an exploration of biodiversity to search for enzymes, metabolic pathways or photosynthetic micro-organisms of interest.

What is Chlamydomonas reinhardtii?

“Chlamy” is a microscopic unicellular green alga that is common in freshwater and soil.  It has two flagella that allow it to swim, a large single chloroplast, a large pyrenoid, a glycoprotein-rich wall and a light-sensing organelle. Chlamydomonas is used as a model organism to study the motility of flagella but also photosynthesis or the storage of energy molecules (lipids, starch).

The latest EBM publications

Our discovery of the FAP
Our discovery of the FAP protein (Sorigue et al 2017)
Detailed mechanistic study of the FAP (Sorigue et al 2021)

More informations

Video 1: 

The City of energies: focus on microalgae 

(credit: communication department CEA)

Video 2:

Put your algae into your car 

(credit: S. Moulin, C. Sahut, D. Sorigue, F. Beisson)