Adding a "Diesel Gene" Into Algae

The Greeley Tribune is reporting that a professor at the University of Northern Colorado has received funding for research on putting genes from a copaifera tree or so-called "diesel tree" into algae and other non-food plants.  The "diesel tree" naturally produces an oleoresin called copaiba that is chemically similar to diesel.  In fact, it is similar enough that it can be used in a diesel engine without any processing.  Copaiba is harvested from the trees in basically the same way maple syrup is harvested from maple trees. A hectare of diesel trees yields about 12,000 liters of copaiba per year.  Not a huge amount. Right now, copaiba oil sells for about $1000 a barrel on ebay.   So putting the genes for copaiba into a more productive plant might be a more economical scenario for harvesting copaiba than tapping the trees.