Euglena, a type of algae, is a rare microorganism that combines the characteristics of plants and animals. Consequently, it grows by photosynthesis yet produces fat in its body that is suited to the production of jet fuel. In Japan, where researchers were the first in the world to succeed in large-scale cultivation of euglena, research is underway to use oil extracted from the microorganism as a biofuel, with the goal of using it to power aircraft in the future. As the need for energy that does not adversely impact the environment grows, expectations are high for the multifaceted potential of biofuel made from euglena that has been made possible by researchers in Japan, a nation that lacks energy resources.
We develop novel innovative microalgae production technology by combining the mass culture technology of euglena Co., Ltd with the bioinformatics technique possessed by RIKEN. Then we create media additives that improve lipid productivity of various microralgae including Euglena gracilis.