Research at Iowa University has made a remarkable improvement in the production of algal biomass through gene manipulation and expression. There are two genes reponsible for algae's capturing of carbon dioxide for photosynthesis called LCIA and LCIB. When algae is in a region of an abudance of carbon dioxide, the genes will shut down in order to accomodate. Now, researchers have forced this gene to express in the abudance of carbon dioxide and therefore are able to produce even more growth. In fact, the biomass has increased fifty to eighty percent, more than the expected ten percent, by this method and the researchers at Iowa University have suggested continuing this process and utilizing it as an alternative fuel source in the future. By utilizing the biomass, researchers state that the Energy Independence and Security Act requirement for replacing ten percent of our current petroleum usage could be met in an excess of ten percent by the year 2022.
[caption id="attachment_2776" align="alignleft" width="400" caption="Martin Spalding, a researcher at Iowa State."][/caption]