“OMICS” characterization of microalgae: Implications for improved biochemicals production

Thursday, March 8, 2018


MBG Conference Hall


Asst. Prof. Berat Haznedaroğlu

Institute of Environmental Sciences,BoğaziçiUniversity

Director, İstanbul Microalgae Biotechnologies Research andDevelopmentCenter

Vice Director, Center for Life Sciences and Technologies

Berat Haznedaroglu is an assistant professor at theInstituteofEnvironmental SciencesatBogaziciUniversityinIstanbul. Berat’s research group focuses on understanding the fundamental biochemistry of non-model algal species and cyanobacteria by coupling with high-throughput systems biology tools including next-generation DNA sequencing, metabolomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics. His group investigates the relationship between the expression and interaction of anabolic and catabolic reactions with the goal of maximizing novel hydrocarbon formations in microalgae. Some of his other projects include systems level investigation of algae for nutritional supplements, biofuels, value-added chemicals, and wastewater treatment applications.

Berat completed his postdoc at Yale and received his Ph.D. from the Chemical and Environmental Engineering Department of University ofCalifornia,Riverside. His M.Sc. is fromVillanovaUniversity. Berat holds a B.Sc. in Biology from theMiddle EastTechnicalUniversity,Ankara,Turkey. Berat is a Newton Advanced Fellow of The Royal Society of UK.



The greatly minimized acreage estimates, high lipid or starch content, and biomass productivity rates surpassing those of terrestrial plants suggest that value added biochemicals produced by microalgae may circumvent many of the limitations ascribed to other organisms. The limitedly availability of genome sequences for non-model microalgae for biochemical production precludes the adoption of a rational approach to metabolic engineering-based feedstock optimization studies. To fill this knowledge gap, my group has applied bioprocess engineering, next generation DNA sequencing technologies, and computational biology tools to understand the molecular mechanisms responsible for high density triacylglycerol (TAG) production and synthesis of several value-added products in oleaginous microalgae.  These systems biology based efforts have yielded massive amounts of quantitative gene expression and metabolomics data to explore the regulation of enzymes responsible for lipid synthesis and other value added chemicals under tested growth conditions. Results to be presented at this seminar will include the constructed metabolic pathways involved in the biosynthesis and catabolism of fatty acids in marine and freshwater microalgae as well as hypotheses for the mechanisms that oleagenous microalgae use to up-regulate lipid and terpenoid production under nutrient stress. Overall, high-throughput omics data provide a foundation for molecular genetics and functional genomics required to direct metabolic engineering efforts to enhance both quality and quantity of microalgae based products for food, energy, and pharmaceutical industries.

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