Expression of a Clostridial [FeFe]-Hydrogenase in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Prolongs Photo-Production of Hydrogen from Water Splitting

Maria Ghirardi, Seth Noone, Venkataramanan Subramanian, Paul King, Kathleen Ratcliff, ReAnna Davis, Jonathan Meuser, Matthew Posewitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus Citations

Abstract

The high oxygen (O2) sensitivity of green algal [FeFe]-hydrogenases is a significant limitation for the sustained production of hydrogen gas (H2) from photosynthetic water splitting. To address this limitation we replaced the native [FeFe]-hydrogenases with a more O2-tolerant clostridial [FeFe]-hydrogenase CaI in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii strain D66ΔHYD (hydA1 hydA2) that contains insertionally inactivated [FeFe]-hydrogenases genes. Expression and translocation of CaI in D66ΔHYD led to the recovery of H2 photoproduction at ~ 20% of the rates of the wild-type parent strain D66. We show for the first time that a bacterial [FeFe]-hydrogenase can be expressed, localized and matured to a catalytically active form that couples to photosynthetic electron transport in the green alga C. reinhardtii. The lower rates of O2 inactivation of CaI led to more sustained H2 photoproduction when cultures were challenged with O2 or kept under prolonged illumination at solar intensities. These results provide new insights into the requisites for attaining photobiological H2 production from water splitting using a more O2-tolerant hydrogenase.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)116-121
Number of pages6
JournalAlgal Research
Volume22
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2700-67527

Keywords

  • Heterologous expression
  • Hydrogen photoproduction
  • Hydrogenase
  • O tolerance

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