Twitter LinkedIn
Return to Wellspring


Uniquely engineered photosynthetic organism for enhanced solar energy conversion


Project TitleUniquely engineered photosynthetic organism for enhanced solar energy conversion
Track Code2333
Short Description

Organisms: Cyanobacteria

This technology includes the engineering of cyanobacteria enabling them to perform conversion of solar energy into a usable form of energy. It is well known that existing reserves of fossil fuels will eventually no longer be able to meet the growing demand for energy. Currently, silicon/thin film photovoltaics (PV) are the dominant solar technology used as a renewable source of energy and offering an alternative to fossil fuels. However, structural and physical properties of silicon-PV limit the room for any major breakthroughs in this space, so there is a need for alternate method of capturing solar energy. Until now, the majority of artificial photosynthesis research has focused on water splitting reaction (to produce H2) using metal or semiconductor catalysts and using synthetic, biomimetic materials. So far none have been successful in matching the robustness of natural photosynthetic materials.



UGA researchers suggest an alternate approach directly using the natural machineries to perform energy conversion in an electrochemical cell. Our researchers have engineered a cyanobacterium to contain an electro-active reductase (outer membrane cytochrome) that will possess superior extracellular direct electron transport properties in order to provide high electron flux for photo-current generation with the ultimate goal of use in photovoltaics, or fuel production. The organism will be engineered with the following steps:

  • Establishing an electron transport pathway

  • Harvesting electrons from early steps of P-ETC, resulting in a higher light-electricity conversion efficiency

  • Inducing planktonic cyanobacteria cell growth and form biofilms resulting in high photo-catalyst density and high electron flux

    This photosynthetic organism offers an alternate method for capturing solar energy. Developed by Dr. Ramaraja Ramasamy at the University of Georgia, these uniquely engineered photosynthetic cyanobacteria have been found to have superior energy conversion and offer a natural, self-sustainable and cheaper method of solar energy conversion.

    References and Intellectual Property


Tagscyanobacteria, phytosynthetic, energy
Posted DateNov 14, 2017 1:22 PM


Cheryl Junker


File Name Description
2333 Ramasamy CJ.doc None Download