The Frontier Development Program for Genome Editing


On June 30, 2022, Hiroshima University held the first seminar in the advanced science seminar series on the theme of "Developing a Future Society with Genome Editing."
In the first seminar, Specially Appointed Professor KURITA Tomokazu of the Genome Editing Innovation Center, Hiroshima University, delivered a lecture titled "Genome-editing technology for biofuel development in microalgae."

This lecture began with an explanation of microalgae and algae biodiesel, followed by other explanations on genome editing in microalgae, especially the construction of a TALEN expression vector showing high mutation introduction efficiency in microalgae called Nannochloropsis, which is the subject of the research by Professor Kurita, and on achievements in the development of a genome editing system that does not leave foreign genes.
Algae biodiesel was explained as a renewable fuel that does not increase the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere because it absorbs carbon dioxide through photosynthesis of microalgae and converts oils accumulated in the cells, although it has the problem of higher production cost than fossil fuels. In order to solve this problem, it is essential to improve the productivity of oils by genome editing and of outdoor culture that enables mass cultivation at low cost, but the strains containing foreign genes are difficult to use outdoors. Accordingly, Professor Kurita has succeeded in introducing mutations in Nannochloropsis more efficiently than conventional methods by using Platinum TALEN technology. Based on his data, he explained about the successful development of genome editing without foreign genes at the end of the process by constructing an electroporation system. At the end, he expressed his hope for further prospects for the research on high-performance algae that can be cultivated outdoors and have a high oil accumulation rate.

The Hiroshima University Advanced Science Seminar "Create the Future Society with "Genome Editing"" is held by the faculty members in charge of the Frontier Development Program for Genome Editing of the WISE Program to widely inform society about this program and genome editing technology. The series is planned to comprise four seminars. Details about the next and subsequent seminars will be given on the website of the Frontier Development Program for Genome Editing and through other media. We look forward to having many people attend the seminars.

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