Growth stimulation and metabolic alteration of cyanobacteria using transcription factor NtcA

July 10, 2014

Establishing technologies to produce useful products such as sugars and amino acids

RIKEN CSRS researchers have succeeded in stimulating the growth and altering the metabolism of cyanobacteria by engineering of the gene encoding transcription factor NtcA.

Researchers generated the cyanobacterial strain which contained the increased NtcA levels. Growth stimulation was observed by ntcA-overexpression under photoautotrophic conditions, which carbon dioxide was used as a carbon source and light as an energy source. Metabolomic analysis revealed the alteration of the metabolites in primary metabolism, such as polysaccharide glycogen, sugar phosphate, and amino acids.

These results provide a new method for altering the cyanobacterial metabolism via NtcA. Ecological manufacturing with carbon dioxide is not practical at the current time, but it is important to establish basic technologies before depletion of resources and a deterioration of environment.

These results are expected to deepen understanding of the metabolic control mechanisms of cyanobacteria, which will lead to the production of high-value products.


Original article
Environmental Microbiology doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.12554
T. Osanai, A. Oikawa, H. Iijima, A. Kuwahara, M. Asayama, K. Tanaka, M. Ikeuchi, K. Saito, M. Yokota Hirai,
"Metabolomic Analysis Reveals Engineering of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 Primary Metabolism by ntcA-overexpression".

Masami Hirai: Team Leader
Takashi Osanai: Research Scientist
Metabolomics Research Group Metabolic Systems Research Team