Congratulations to Attila Molnar (The University of Edinburgh), whose PHYCONET-funded PoC project results have been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The article, “Efficient targeted DNA editing and replacement in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii using Cpf1 ribonucleoproteins and single-stranded DNA” can be found here and the University of Edinburgh has produced a short video describing the approach used, which can be viewed here.
A 2-day PHYCONET sponsored workshop titled “Expressing transgenes in Chlamydomonas and Phaeodactylum” was led by Payam Mehrshahi and Katrin Geisler (University of Cambridge) between 29-30 November. As part of this workshop, eight enthusiastic algae biotechnologists were introduced to different transformation methods and the basics of Golden Gate cloning using the MoClo syntax, with hands-on transformation of Chlamydomonas and Phaeodactylum forming a major component of the event.
Congratulations to the following, who have been awarded funding to present at the 2nd International Conference on Marine Biomass as Renewable Energy in March next year:
- Mike Allen (Plymouth Marine Laboratory), who will give an oral presentation on “Genetic engineering of microalgae: potential and problems”
- Daniel Nowakowski and Christopher Thomas (Aston University). Christopher will give a talk on “Hydrothermal liquefaction of algal feedstocks”
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), in association with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is pleased to announce a call of up to £10 million to fund a second phase of Networks in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy (BBSRC NIBB), to support networking activities via a number of cross-disciplinary, community-building Networks as part of its continuing strategy in supporting Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy (IBBE).
The second phase of the BBSRC NIBB will continue to build capacity and capability in the UK supporting research and translation in biologically based manufacturing, with the aim of continuing to foster collaboration between academic researchers and business at all levels, in order to find new approaches though excellent research to tackle research challenges and help deliver key benefits in IBBE.
BBSRC has allocated up to £10 million for this second phase networking initiative and aims to fund a number of Networks, of varying scales, focusing on a broad range of fundamental and strategic challenges and questions facing the IBBE area. Networks will operate for up to five years and are expected to become self-sustaining beyond this. Networks are also intended to be UK-wide and be open to participants from different disciplines and institutions.
This is a two stage call; Expression of Interest applications will be assessed in March 2018, and Full applications invited forward for assessment during Summer 2018. Networks will be expected to start 1 January 2019.
Applicants intending to submit an Expression of Interest must attend and present their proposed Network at the Community meeting being held in London on 17 January 2018.
Full details can be found here.
Two places are now available on the PHYCONET Management Board, and we invite members to apply for these positions. Duties will include attending Management Board meetings in London twice a year (travel expenses will be reimbursed) and reviewing applications for our funding schemes. Anyone interested in serving on the Management Board should submit a brief statement, to include previous experience and expertise, and reasons for applying, to the Network Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 5pm on Friday, 1 December.
PHYCONET were recently awarded additional funding in the form of an Industrial Biotechnology Seeding Catalyst Award from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (supported by BBSRC, EPSRC and Innovate UK). We can announce that the following applicants have been awarded funding:
- Mark Caddick (The University of Liverpool), who will work with Unilever on the project “Process development for the production of natural UV-protectants”
- Anil Day (The University of Manchester) and AlgaeCytes, to work on “One step transformation of a platform microalgal strain to boost Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid yields”
- Attila Molnar (The University of Edinburgh) and Scottish Bioenergy, for the project “Optimizing the single-stranded oligodeoxynucleotide repair templates for CRISPR-mediated genome editing in micro-algae”
- Alla Silkina (Swansea University) and ufraction8, who will work on “Evaluation of microalgae dewatering cultures using massively multiplexed microfluidic systems”
The PHYCONET September 2017 newsletter is now available. If you would like to receive the next newsletter direct to your inbox, please join us by completing the short form on the Membership page.
Six PHYCONET members recently attended a 2-day HPLC course, tailored to algae researchers, at RLC Lab in Loughborough. The course covered theory and application by analysing test mixes/algae extracts, investigating the effect of changing key parameters (organic solvent concentration, flow rate, temperature) to achieve efficient separation, calibration/quantification and sample preparation techniques including SPE (solid phase extraction). The focus of the course is on understanding compound structure and properties and how this information is used to guide method development.
We may fund this course again next year (possibly in March, April or May); however, a minimum of 6 people are required so if you are interested in attending this free course with accommodation and meals included, please email Janet Waterhouse (email@example.com). Students whose stipends contain funds for training activities are not eligible.