A switchable photosystem-II designer algae for photobiological hydrogen production. The designer transgenic algae includes at least two transgenes for enhanced photobiological H.sub.2 production wherein a first transgene serves as a genetic switch that can controls photosystem II (PSII) oxygen evolution and a second transgene encodes for creation of free proton channels in the algal photosynthetic membrane. In one embodiment, the algae includes a DNA construct having polymerase chain reaction forward primer (302), a inducible promoter (304), a PSII-iRNA sequence (306), a terminator (308), and a PCR reverse primer (310). In other embodiments, the PSII-iRNA sequence (306) is replaced with a CF.sub.1-iRNA sequence (312), a streptomycin-production gene (314), a targeting sequence (316) followed by a proton-channel producing gene (318), or a PSII-producing gene (320). In one embodiment, a photo-bioreactor and gas-product separation and utilization system produce photobiological H.sub.2 from the switchable PSII designer alga.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 awarded by the United States Department of energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.