[China] The 4th Asia-Oceania Algae Innovation Summit took place in Wuhan, China, on 19-21 September 2016, hosting more than 600 delegates surrounding the advanced algae biotechnology and algae related industries. Everything related to algae, from technology scale-up, system integration, fundamental research, policies, markets and more were discussed in the conference.
AOAIS 2016 was organized by the Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences and AOAIS International Organizing Committee. The conference was kicked off with an opening ceremony, followed by a keynote address from Professor Qiang Hu. Professor Hu highlighted his optimism for algae biofuel technology and its future prospect based on the fact that the cost for producing algae crude oil dropped from USD 900/barrel to USD 150/barrel in 2015. He also predicted that algae biofuel can become economically feasible within 5-10 years.
Professor Makoto Watanabe from Algae Biomass and Energy System R&D Center, University of Tsukuba, discussed the challenges for commercializing microalgae biomass in Japan. He also introduced four major algae R&D projects across Japan – the Sendai Project, Tsukuba Project, Fukushima Project, and Saga Project, which are involved in wastewater treatment, large scale algae production, polyculture production, and carbon utilization respectively.
Another highlight of the presentation was from Professor Yongding Liu of Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Professor Liu is an expert in exploring the function of soil filamentous cyanobacteria, namely Microcoleus vaginatus and Scytonema javanicum in desertification control. Desert cyanobacteria are well known for their ability to survive in extreme environment. By mass producing desert cyanobacteria using raceway ponds, Professor Liu and his research team successfully induce the formation of algal crust, which have covered on more than 1,300 hectares of moving sand land since 2005 at the Inner Mongolia desert. Algal crust is able to resist erosion of winds and it can be used as an alternative method for fixing unconsolidated sand。
During the panel discussion on the second day of conference, Professor Yongkeun Chang, Ajit Sapre, Professor Peter Lindlad, Joao Navalho, Professor Xiaoyi Yang, and Professor Min Sung Park discussed the challenges and solutions for microalgal biotechnology. It was generally agreed that hybrid production model which integrates heterotrophic and phototrophic growth of algae cultivation systems boosts the production rate of microalgae biomass. Highly productive heterotrophic growth system is able to achieve a biomass production rate up to 280g/m2.day. This acts as an efficient system to innoculate scale-able phototrophic growth in either open pond system or closed photobioreactor, complementing the limitation on photosynthesis of algae under phototrophic condition.
Professor Song Xue from Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences highlighted the launching of microalgal fatty acid methyl esters database on mifame.dicp.ac.cn. Researchers may now access to the online database to identify the type of FAMEs from microalgae primarily based on parameters such as algal species and cultivation conditions.
On the third day of conference, distinguish speaker Professor William Gerwick shared his experience in exploring unique natural products of marine algae and cyanobacteria for useful biomedical properties. In his lecture, he explained his pioneering approach in characterization of the origins of natural products at the molecular genetic and genomic levels.
During the last day of the conference, Professor Danxiang Han from the Center for Microalgal Biotechnology and Biofuels, Institute of Hydrobiology, explained the mechanism of a common algae infection by parasitic fungus called Paraphysoderm sedeborense. Han proposed a hypothesis on effector-induced susceptibility to the pathogen for Haematococcus pluvialis.
“The effector may cause dramatic change of H. pluvialis cell wall and aid the penetration of the parasite P. sedeborense into the host cell. ” said Professor Han in her presentation. Exploring and identifying the mechanism of infection not only help to leverage the research on cell wall integrity sensing mechanism, but also provide potential solutions for the Haematococcus cultivation industry to fight against disease and infection.
During the summit banquet on the night of 20th September, 2016, the MC of the summit banquet, Professor Min Sung Park says farewell to the AOAIS 2016 participants. The AOAIS 2016 organizing committee also announced the winner of poster presentation.
The 4th AOAIS took place in Dong Hu International Convention Center in Wuhan was concluded in the afternoon of 21 September 2016. Algae World News is the media partner of this event. The summit hosted more than 100 oral presentations and 180 poster presentations. The 5th AOAIS conference will be held in India in year 2018.
Exclusively reported by Algae World News