Oct 2012 - Oct 2016

Photosynthetic communities in industrial cultivation

PHOTO.COMM involves the utilization of microalgae for the conversion of CO2 and H2O into chemicals and fuels, to directly replace finite fossil fuels and products. PHOTO.COMM has the primary objective of generating the next-generation scientists that will make a substantial and potentially game changing contribution towards this global challenge. In the project, the species composition will be determined by traditional and molecular methods, and the growth and characteristics of the cultures will be characterized in detail using metagenomics approaches. After this screening, new strains of cyanobacteria and eukaryotic algae will be engineered, to improve their photosynthetic efficiency, their CO2 fixation rates and their nutrient uptake characteristics. These will then be used to generate new synthetic communities, whose performance will be compared with natural cultures, which will be analysed also by mathematical models. This knowledge will enable PHOTO.COMM programme to build a knowledge base that offers novel mixed cultures with superior abilities for industrial use.  

Microalgae species: Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Chlorella vulgaris




Information Unavailable


48 months


Kobenhavns Universitet (Coordinator), Denmark

The University Of Warwick,  United Kingdom

The Chancellor, Masters And Scholars Of The University Of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Turun Yliopisto, Finland

Albert-Ludwigs-Universitaet Freiburg, Germany

Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Israel

Nova Green Projektmanagement GMBH, Germany

Algae Biotech SL, Spain

University of Kent, United Kingdom

Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, United Kingdom

A4F Role

A4F was involved by permanently hosting a post-doctoral researcher that developed research in the mixotrophic cultivation of Chlorella vulgaris and other microalgae strains of commercial value. A4F also hosted visiting students that carried out pilot-scale cultivation of genetically modified strains of Chlamydomonas as a biotechnological platform for the production of high-value compounds. Consortia of bacteria and microalgae that formed in these cultures were also sampled and analyzed by A4F and partners.