Biodesalination: a case study for applications of photosynthetic bacteria in water treatment

Amezaga, J. M. et al. (2014) Biodesalination: a case study for applications of photosynthetic bacteria in water treatment. Plant Physiology, 164(4), pp. 1661-1676. (doi:10.1104/pp.113.233973)

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Shortage of freshwater is a serious problem in many regions worldwide, and is expected to become even more urgent over the next decades as a result of increased demand for food production and adverse effects of climate change. Vast water resources in the oceans can only be tapped into if sustainable, energy-efficient technologies for desalination are developed. Energization of desalination by sunlight through photosynthetic organisms offers a potential opportunity to exploit biological processes for this purpose. Cyanobacterial cultures in particular can generate a large biomass in brackish and seawater, thereby forming a low-salt reservoir within the saline water. The latter could be used as an ion exchanger through manipulation of transport proteins in the cell membrane. In this article, we use the example of biodesalination as a vehicle to review the availability of tools and methods for the exploitation of cyanobacteria in water biotechnology. Issues discussed relate to strain selection, environmental factors, genetic manipulation, ion transport, cell-water separation, process design, safety, and public acceptance.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Minas, Dr Konstantinos and Karunakaran, Dr Esther and Honsbein, Dr Annegret and Amtmann, Professor Anna
Authors: Amezaga, J. M., Amtmann, A., Biggs, C. A., Bond, T., Gandy, C. J., Honsbein, A., Karunakaran, E., Lawton, L., KonstantinosMadsen, M. A., Minas, K., and Templeton, M. R.
Subjects:Q Science > Q Science (General)
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Molecular Cell and Systems Biology
Research Group:Plant Science Group
Journal Name:Plant Physiology
Publisher:American Society of Plant Biologists
ISSN (Online):1532-2548

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
572221Biodesalination: from cell to tap.Anna AmtmannEngineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/J004871/1RI MOLECULAR CELL & SYSTEMS BIOLOGY