Cyanobacteria genes (blue-green algae) have been shown by scientists to produce both hydrogen and ethanol. Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have found that a certain strain of cyanobacteria is on a circadian rhythm and has a rare linear chromosome.
By day the blue-green algae works at photosynthesis including sugar production. By night, the cyanobacteria respires and concentrates on nitrogen fixation. This means that the bacteria takes gaseous nitrogen and converts it to a form palatable to other living organisms.
The cyanobacteria’s rare linear chromosome is almost never found in simple organisms, only humans and animals. The chromosome, according to the researchers, is actively involved in fermenting, transcription and translation.
The U. S. Department of Energy has asked Himadri B. Pakrasi, Ph.D., George William and Irene Koechig to sequence six other Cyanothece organisms to find out which produces the most hydrogen. Strains of the bacteria come from India, Taiwan and deep ocean spaces.
I’ve written about algae and bacteria before as a means to produce significant amounts of hydrogen. The gene sequencing of cyanobacteria may just produce one of the puzzle pieces necessary to help the renewable hydrogen production picture fall into place.