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EYE ON CHINA
Scientists Develop Database to Support Industrial Microalgae Production
International team led by Single-Cell Center (SCC), Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology (QIBEBT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), released the “NanDeSyn” database, promoting resource sharing the research cooperation.

Industrial oil-producing microalgae can use light energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into oils on a large scale. It is a potential solution for the sustainable supply of food, nutrition and fuel for human society.

The work of an international team was published in The Plant Journal outlining the establishment of a database known as “NanDeSyn”, to encourage sharing of resources and boost research cooperation in synthetic biology and molecular bredding of industrial oil-producing microalgae.

Nannochloropsis spp. is an industrial microalga that can be grown outdoors in a large scale for producing oils. Its characteristics as a “photosynthetic yeast” has garnered much interest. These characteristics include haploid nuclear genome of approximately 30M base pairs, simple and reliable DNA transformation, high genome-editing efficiency, and flexible gene expression regulation techniques.

The global Nannochloropsis research community had much success in the past years in generating a large amount of functional genomics data, as well as genetic resources such as plasmids and mutant strains.

The "NanDeSyn Database", developed by Gong Yanhai and team, from SCC, and Nam Kyu Kang, and team from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), systematically collects and integrates functional genomics and epigenetics data including the latest genome sequences, gene annotations, transcriptomes, proteomes, and small RNAs of all Nannochloropsis species.

Other key features of the database include, online data mining tools. These include gene search, genome comparison, collinearity analysis, gene enrichment analysis, metabolic pathway analysis, and genome browser are provided through the website. Together with these and literature research regarding the present research status of each gene, the corresponding vectors and mutant strains are also displayed so as to promote the free sharing of these research materials.

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