technology pic
HomeSite MapContact Us
technology
Harvesting Solar Energy: Hydrogen production by a semi-artificial photo-system (Ramot)
code: 6-2008-56
Iftach Yacoby, T.A.U Tel Aviv University, Life Sciences, Molecular Microbiology-Biotechnology
Itai Benhar, T.A.U Tel Aviv University, Life Sciences, Molecular Microbiology-Biotechnology
Ehud Gazit, T.A.U Tel Aviv University, Life Sciences, Molecular Microbiology-Biotechnology
Nathan Nelson, T.A.U Tel Aviv University, Life Sciences, The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The Technology

An artificial ferredoxin-hydrogenase fusion enzyme (Fd-HydA) has been developed for the production of hydrogen gas in algae.  The Fd-HydA fusion enzyme interferes with the formation of the naturally occurring ferredoxin-sugar production pathway in photosystem I (PSI) complex and shuttles the donated electrons directly to the hydrogenase as shown in in vitro studies.  Preliminary expression of Fd-HydA in algae supports hydrogen production.   

Stage of Development

  • Fd-HydA fusion enzyme has been constructed and expressed in E. coli and evidence of electron transfer has been demonstrated in vitro 
  • Fd-HydA fusion protein increases rate of hydrogen photoproduction by 400% in vitro
  • Fd-HydA fusion protein has specific activities of 3000 U (U = 1 µmol hydrogen mg−1 min−1) for hydrogen evolution from reduced methyl viologen (MV).
  • Fd-HydA fusion enzyme is expressed and active in alga (preliminary work). 

These results suggest a new direction for improvement of biohydrogen production and a means to further resolve the mechanisms that control partitioning of photosynthetic electron transport. 

Patent Status 

WO2010/137019  (US, EP)

WO 2009/013745 (US)

Contact for more information:
Elisha Natan , Director BD,
Ramot at Tel Aviv University Ltd. P.O. Box 39296, Tel Aviv 61392 ISRAEL
Phone: +972-3-6406608
Fax: +972-3-6406675
ITTN - Israel Tech Transfer Organization