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JST Press Release

16th June 2013
Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)
5-3, Yonbancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8666
URL http://www.jst.go.jp/EN/index.html

Discovery of the Regulator of Bioplastic Production in Cyanobacteria

Bioplastic production using carbon dioxide and light energy is required for sustainable development of our society. Cyanobacteria are a group of bacteria which can fix carbon dioxide and perform photosynthesis. It has been known that some species of cyanobacteria produce biodegradable polyester, named polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), when they starved nitrogen sources. In this study, we showed the novel method to increase bioplastics in cyanobacteria. The increase in the proteins, named SigE, resulted in the wide change in carbon metabolism and up-regulation of PHB production. Our data has demonstrated the discovery of the regulator of bioplastics in cyanobacteria, leading to the industrial production of bioplastics with low environmental impact in the future.

Researcher Information

Research Area :
"Creation of Basic Technology for Improved Bioenergy Production through Functional Analysis and Regulation of Algae and Other Aquatic Microorganisms"

Research Theme :
"Increased production of cyanobacterial PHB by modification of dynamics of sugar metabolism"

Journal Information

Takashi Osanai, Keiji Numata, Akira Oikawa, Ayuko Kuwahara, Hiroko Iijima, Yoshiharu Doi, Kan Tanaka, Kazuki Saito, and Masami Yokota Hirai. “Increased Bioplastic Production with an RNA Polymerase Sigma Factor SigE during Nitrogen Starvation in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803.”
DNA Research, Published online 16th, July 2013
doi: 10.1093/dnares/dst028


[About Research]
Takashi Osanai, Ph.D.
JST PRESTO Researcher(RIKEN Visiting Scientist), Center for Sustainable Resource Sciences, RIKEN
HP: http://www.riken.go.jp/research/labs/csrs/metabolom/metab_system/

[About Program]
Masashi Furukawa, Fumiharu Kimura,
Green Science Group, Department of Innovation Research, JST


JST, an integrated organization of science and technology in Japan, establishes an infrastructure for the entire process from the creation of knowledge to the return to the society. For more information, visit http://www.jst.go.jp/EN/