Cyanobacteria such as Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942 overproduce sucrose to achieve osmotolerance in saline solution. The teams around Xuefeng LU and Quan LUO at CAS Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology (QIBEBT), in collaboration with Martin Hagemann at Rostock University, Germany, identified protein Slr1588 as a transcriptional regulator for sucrase activity of the spsA gene, a key enzyme involved in sucrose synthesis and found that glycogen and sucrose pools were closely linked. Their results suggest that glycogen could serve as a supportive rather than a competitive carbon pool for the synthesis of sucrose, and could guide metabolic engineering to optimize the production of sucrose and other products by cyanobacteria.

CAS QIBEBT news release, November 27, 2017