Home > Press Releases
JST Press Release

July 20, 2016
Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)
5-3, Yonbancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8666

Genetic manipulation of a gene related to hydrogen metabolism increased bioplastic production in cyanobacteria

Dr. Osanai’s group at Meiji University revealed that genetic manipulation of hydrogenases in cyanobacteria increased succinate and lactate production during dark, anaerobic conditions. Succinate and lactate are chemicals used for bioplastic production. The model unicellular cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 excretes succinate and lactate during dark, anaerobic conditions. At the same condition, Synechocystis cells also produce hydrogen. They reduced the expression of hoxH, encoding a hydrogenase subunit, and generated the mutant with low hydrogen productivity. They found the mutant produced increased succinate and lactate levels during dark, anaerobic conditions. Metabolomic analysis demonstrated the enhanced sugar catabolism (glucose degradation) by genetic manipulation of hoxH. These results show the novel way for producing commodity chemicals from CO2, using cyanobacteria as biocatalyst.

Program Information

Research Area “Biotechnology”
Research Theme “Genetic engineering of cyanobacterial transcriptional regulators and circadian clocks for succinate production”

Journal Information

Hiroko Iijima, Tomokazu Shirai, Mami Okamoto, Filipe Pinto, Paula Tamagnini, Tomohisa Hasunuma, Akihiko Kondo, Masami Yokota Hirai, and Takashi Osanai. “Metabolomics-based analysis revealing the alteration of primary carbon metabolism by the genetic manipulation of a hydrogenase HoxH in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803”. Algal Research, doi: 10.1016/j.algal.2016.06.026.


[About Research]
Takashi Osanai, Ph. D.
Senior Assistant Professor, School of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Chemistry, Meiji University

[About Program]
Advanced Low Carbon Technology Research and Development Program (ALCA), Department of Green Innovation, JST
URL: http://www.jst.go.jp/alca/en/index.html


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/