Open Seminar 26.09.23 16:15, prof. Sarah D’Adamo, Netherlands "Solar lipid production by oleaginous microalgae: revisiting lipid metabolism and tailoring lipid profile through genetic engineering"


Event details

Date 26.09.2023
Hour 16:1517:30
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
Event Language English

Welcome to the open seminar of Invited Professor Sarah D'Adamo.
Tuesday September 26, 16:15
prof.Sarah D'Adamo
Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands

Title: Solar lipid production by oleaginous microalgae: revisiting lipid metabolism and tailoring lipid profile through genetic engineering"
This seminar will be held in person
at EPFL Lausanne in the room CH B3 31
followed by an Apéro and Q&A session at 17:30
ZOOM link
Solar lipid production by oleaginous microalgae: revisiting lipid metabolism and tailoring lipid profile through genetic engineering
Sarah D’Adamo1, Christian Südfeld1, René Wijffels1 and Maria Barbosa1
1Bioprocess Engineering & AlgaePARC, Wageningen University and Research, P.O. Box 16, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
Microalgae have caught industrial interest as promising sustainable photosynthetic production platforms for several compounds (i.e., proteins, hydrocarbons, fatty acids) exploitable in food and feed, aquaculture, and fuel sectors. However, in order to become an economically viable platform, these microorganisms must be optimized in solar energy conversion, carbon capture and utilization, and the partitioning of metabolic fluxes (1,2). To fulfil the necessity of improved yields in microalgal lipid production, our research moves towards the genetic domestication of robust, oleaginous microalgae, such as Nannochloropsis oceanica. Part of our very recent activities involves the development of novel tools for both gene editing and gene expression.  Therefore, in this talk, we present our recent developments on cutting-edge gene editing tools by using CRISPR-Cas systems (3,4), and a new developed gene expression system based on RNA polymerase I activity (3). We report how we have successfully employed high-throughput screening techniques to identify and to select new mutant lines (5, 6, 7). We finally discuss our recent targeted genetic engineering activities aimed to generate and investigate high-lipid phenotypes, and to tailor lipid composition of N. oceanica, towards the inclusion of novel lipid classes (8,9). 
1.      Work VH, D’Adamo S, Radakovits R, Jinkerson RE, Posewitz MC. Improving photosynthesis and metabolic networks for the competitive production of phototroph-derived biofuels. Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2012;23(3):290-297. doi:10.1016/j.copbio.2011.11.022
2.      Remmers IM, D’Adamo S, Martens DE, et al. Orchestration of transcriptome, proteome and metabolome in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum during nitrogen limitation. Algal Res. 2018;35(July):33-49. doi:10.1016/j.algal.2018.08.012
3.      Ibnu M, Naduthodi S, Mohanraju P, Südfeld C, D'Adamo S, Barbosa MJ, J van der Oost. CRISPR – Cas ribonucleoprotein mediated homology ‑ directed repair for efficient targeted genome editing in microalgae Nannochloropsis oceanica IMET1. Biotechnol Biofuels 2019; 1–11.
4.      Naduthodi MIS, Südfeld C, Avitzigiannis EK, D'Adamo S, Barbosa MJ, J van der Oost Comprehensive Genome Engineering Toolbox for Microalgae Nannochloropsis oceanica Based on CRISPR-Cas Systems. ACS Synth Biol. 2021;10(12):3369-3378. doi:10.1021/acssynbio.1c00329
5.      Südfeld C, Pozo-Rodríguez A, Manjavacas Díez SA, Wijffels RH, Barbosa MJ, D’Adamo S. The nucleolus as a genomic safe harbor for strong gene expression in Nannochloropsis oceanica. Plant cell, Volume 15, Issue 2, 2022, Pages 340-353
6.      Südfeld C, Hub M, D'Adamo S, Wijffels RH, Barbosa MJ. Optimization of high-throughput lipid screening of the microalga Nannochloropsis oceanica using BODIPY 505 / 515. Volume 53, March 2021, 102138,
7.      Südfeld C, Hubáček M, Figueiredo D, Naduthodi MIS, van der Oost J, Wijffels RH, Barbosa MJ, D'Adamo S. High-throughput insertional mutagenesis reveals novel targets for enhancing lipid accumulation in Nannochloropsis oceanica. Metab Eng. 2021;66(May):239–58
8.      Südfeld C, Kiyani A, Buckens H, Hubáček M, Wijffels RH, Barbosa MJ, D'Adamo S. Accumulation of medium chain fatty acids in Nannochloropsis oceanicaby heterologous expression of Cuphea palustris thioesterase FatB1 Algal Research Volume 64, May 2022, 102665,
9.      Südfeld C, Kiyani A, Wefelmeier K, Wijffels RH, Barbosa MJ, D'Adamo S Expression of glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase increases non-polar lipid accumulation in Nannochloropsis oceanica
10.    Microbial Cell Factories volume 22, Article number: 12 (2023)
 Presenting author
 Sarah D’Adamo
Assistant professor I
Wageningen University and Research
The Netherlands
* [email protected]
Sarah D’Adamo holds a MSc. in Industrial biotechnology and PhD degree in biotechnology, curriculum: biochemistry and biophysics, both obtained at the University of Study of Padova, Italy. From January 2018, she is a tenure-track Assistant Professor in microalgal cell factory design at the Bioprocess Engineering division of Wageningen University (WUR), The Netherlands. She worked as post-doctoral fellow and research associate at the Chemistry Dept.ment of Colorado School of Mines, United States of America, following projects on redox and hydrogen metabolism of green microalgae. She has been senior scientist and lead scientist at Algenuity, a microalgal biotech start-up company based in England. Overall, she has >12 years’ of both academic and industrial experience in the field of microalgae physiology and biotechnology, conducted in Italy, USA, UK and, NL. Expertise includes analytical chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, biophysics, redox reactions, photosynthesis, metabolic engineering, strain engineering, bioprocess design, nutraceutical production. 
Wageningen University and Research (WUR) is a collaboration of Wageningen University and specialized research institutes of the Wageningen Research foundation, which have joined forces `to explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life´. The Bioprocess Engineering division (BPE) of WUR is performing research on the development of novel biotechnological processes for production of bio-based chemicals, biofuels, food additives, feed and pharmaceuticals. WUR-BPE’s challenge is to produce high quality biobased products in a sustainable and economical way. WUR-BPE has over 15 years’ experience with the cultivation of algae and has a solid scientific basis in the expertise of bioreactor design, medium optimization, strain improvement, scale-up, biorefinery and LCA’s in this area of application. 25 PhD students, 2 professors, 2 assistant professors and 2 PostDocs from our staff are working in microalgae field. We collaborate already with over 40 companies and we coordinate large public private partnership programs (AlgaePARC pilot facilities, AlgaePARC Biorefinery and 3 EU research programs). 

Practical information

  • General public
  • Free
  • This event is internal


  • Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering