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Phytoplankton Dicrateria rotunda synthesizes hydrocarbons equivalent to petroleum

29 Jul 2021


Key points

  • We discovered that Dicrateria rotunda (D. rotunda), a species of Haptophyte, can synthesize hydrocarbons equivalent to petroleum (saturated hydrocarbons with a carbon number ranging from 10 to 38). No organism capable of petroleum production has been previously reported.
  • All of the eleven Dicrateria strains examined in this study, including ARC1 obtained during a science cruise in the Arctic Ocean, were found to be capable of synthesizing a series of saturated hydrocarbons. This has indicated that this capability of synthesis is common to the entire Dicrateria genus.
  • The saturated hydrocarbon content of the D. rotunda ARC1 increased under dark and nitrogen-deficient conditions. Understanding the physiological function and synthesis pathways of these saturated hydrocarbons may contribute to the development of biofuels in the future.

Full text: Phytoplankton Dicrateria rotunda synthesizes hydrocarbons equivalent to petroleum
TUT website: Press release

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