About this Research Topic
Cyanobacteria (oxygenic photosynthetic bacteria) are an evolutionary ancient and abundant prokaryotic phylum, accounting for ~25% of global carbon fixation. Certain species can also negatively impact ecosystems by forming blooms and releasing toxins, affecting human and animal health. Cyanobacteria are used in biotechnology for food and dye production, an industry currently worth >£500M.
Moreover, chloroplasts descend from an internalised cyanobacterium, and certain physiological and biochemical features are conserved in higher photosynthetic organisms, making them excellent chassis for production of plant-derived natural products like terpenes.
Cyanobacteria offer multiple advantages for biotechnology including:
1) Highly efficient conversion of water and CO2 to biomass using solar energy;
2) Culturing on non-arable land with minimal nutrients;
3) Well developed genetic tools for model species compared to eukaryotic microalgae;
4) Rapid and inexpensive generation and testing of mutants.
Despite their potential as platforms for synthesis of pharmaceuticals, industrial compounds and biofuels, commercialisation of cyanobacterial biotechnology has been slow. Further work is required, not only in understanding the basic biology of cyanobacteria but also in strain development for optimised compound production, control of cyanobacterial blooms in the environment and development of processes for industrial production.
This Research Topic welcomes Original Research papers and Reviews that cover all aspects of the use of cyanobacteria in biotechnology, ecotoxicology, bioremediation and sustainable solutions for environmental issues. Manuscripts from authors in developing countries and those working on projects determining growth of cyanobacteria in outdoor and scaled-up growth facilities are particularly encouraged. Submitted manuscripts should be hypothesis-driven or targeting a clear application. Brief Research Reports, Genome Announcements, Data Reports, Systematic Reviews, and Case Reports will not be considered.
Keywords: Cyanobacteria, Industrial biotechnology, Bioremediation, Cyanotoxins, Carbon fixation
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