Manipulation of Glycogen and Sucrose Synthesis Increases Photosynthetic Productivity in Cyanobacteria

Michael Cantrell, Melissa Cano, Jacob Sebesta, Troy Paddock, Wei Xiong, Katherine Chou, Jianping Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus Citations


Photosynthetic productivity is limited by low energy conversion efficiency in naturally evolved photosynthetic organisms, via multiple mechanisms that are not fully understood. Here we show evidence that extends recent findings that cyanobacteria use “futile” cycles in the synthesis and degradation of carbon compounds to dissipate ATP. Reduction of the glycogen cycle or the sucrose cycle in the model cyanobacterium Synechocystis 6803 led to redirection of cellular energy toward faster growth under simulated outdoor light conditions in photobioreactors that was accompanied by higher energy charge [concentration ratio of ATP/(ATP + ADP)]. Such manipulation of energy metabolism may have potential in engineering microalgal chassis cells to increase productivity of biomass or target metabolites.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number1124274
Number of pages8
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 Cantrell, Cano, Sebesta, Paddock, Xiong, Chou and Yu.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2700-84835


  • ATP
  • cyanobacteria
  • glycogen
  • photosynthesis
  • sucrose


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