Digital frukost: Applications of the CRISPR/Cas system in diatoms

Diatoms is a group of unicellular eukaryotic microalgae. Due to their high lipid content they can be used as fish feed in aquaculture or generation of biofuels/bioplastics. How can the CRISPR/Cas gene editing system be used to develop strains of diatoms that are better suited for growth in bioreactors?

DNA molecules

Register for the meeting

Deadline for registration: 10 December

Few scientific discoveries have changed the field of molecular biology like that of the CRISPR/Cas system, which has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry this year. Around 20 years of basic research were required to realize its potential as “molecular scissors”, which can be targeted to cut almost any DNA sequence within the genome to introduce desired mutations. Within only a few years it has been successfully adapted to a wide range of model organisms and several different applications. 

Message from the speaker Manuel Serif, NTNU:

Our work focuses on diatoms, a widespread group of unicellular eukaryotic microalgae, which are responsible for approximately 20% of global oxygen production. Furthermore, they are of interest for biotechnological applications due to their high lipid content for use as fish feed in aquaculture or generation of biofuels/bioplastics. We are mainly interested in how diatoms adapt their photosynthetic machinery based on the light conditions. This knowledge could then be transferred towards the generation of strains better suitable for growth in bioreactors. During this talk, I will introduce you to the CRISPR/Cas system and its applications and then focus on both our approaches for its adaption for use in diatoms and the characterization of newly generated strains.

About the seminar series

"Digital Frukost" is an open breakfast seminar series focusing on research activities at the interface between the biological sciences and that of mathematics, computer science, physics, engineering or social sciences. Examples of such research activities could be mathematical or computational modeling of biological systems, application of engineering/control systems theory on biological systems or inspired by biological systems, application of mathematics/statistics/machine learning to analyze big data in health or marine sector; from sensor systems, imaging, omics technologies, policy making based on scientific models etc.

We look forward to your participation!


Ragnhild Inderberg Vestrum 

Kari M. Ersland

Published Nov. 24, 2020 3:18 PM - Last modified Nov. 26, 2020 10:59 AM