Breeding and improvement of red macroalgae Asparagopsis taxiformis for enhanced yields
Award last edited on: 5/31/22

Sponsored Program
Awarding Agency
Total Award Amount
Award Phase
Solicitation Topic Code
Principal Investigator
Jonathan Simonds

Company Information

Symbrosia Inc

73-4460 Queen Ka’ahumanu Suite 111
Kailua Kona, HI 96740
   (724) 549-4400
Location: Single
Congr. District: 02
County: Hawaii

Phase I

Contract Number: 2021-01792
Start Date: 3/18/21    Completed: 10/28/22
Phase I year
Phase I Amount
Red tropical macroalgae "‹Asparagopsis taxiformis presents an unmatched potentialfor reducing enteric methane emissions in ruminant livestock. With naturally high concentrationsof secondary metabolites that impede the process of methanogenesis in ruminant stomachs "‹A.taxiformis is an untapped resource for reducing methane production from one of the mostsignificant sources of greenhouse gas. Currently livestock contributes 8-10% of total globalgreenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. With just a 0.5% feed inclusion of our algae we can reducethese emissions by up to 90%. However there is a limited production of "‹A. taxiformis currentlyon the market. To meet the future demands for "‹A. taxiformis "‹production Symbrosia proposesestablishing an "‹A. taxiformis "‹nursery with individuals conferring desirable traits such asimproved yield bromoform concentrations and adaptability to region-specific temperatures.During this proposed project we will phenotype "‹A. taxiformis individuals utilize transcriptomicsfor secondary metabolite production and generate a seed bank for future research withproduction partners. Phase I efforts will advance the US field of macroalgae aquacultureprioritizing smarter macroalgae industry development for essential environmental issues. Ourresults will immediately apply to current operations and set the stage for Phase II breedingobjectives.Intellectual merit. Despite the variety of practical applications of improved macroalgal strainsdeveloped strains with valuable commercial and environmental potential lack for most species.Programs for terrestrial plants and even marine microalgae are far better established and offeruseful information to the efforts of breeding macroalgae. With this in mind we seek to improvemethods for macroalgae breeding programs with experiments designed for high- throughput andstatistical significance across both phenotypic and genotypic analyses of multi-islandAsparagopsis "‹diversity.Broader/commercial impact. We propose establishing germplasm of "‹A. taxiformis "‹withdesirable characteristics such as high yield high bromoform concentration and diseaseresistance and advance our breeding materials through selective breeding. The underlyinggenetics of these traits largely remain unknown and through this project we will advancebreeding research for macroalgae and establish viable lines for environmental use. We will builda pipeline to phenotype "‹A. taxiformis on the traits of interests effectively. Improved "‹A. taxiformisseed stock will immediately become available for commercial production in Kailua-KonaHawai'i. The field of marine macroalgae lacks sound breeding results and programs despiteprogress from other industries. Our efforts will promote the vast potential for the application ofmacroalgae to mitig

Phase II

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Start Date: 00/00/00    Completed: 00/00/00
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