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Plant Cell Physiol. 2004 Jun;45(6):667-71.

Improvement of culture conditions and evidence for nuclear transformation by homologous recombination in a red alga, Cyanidioschyzon merolae 10D.

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Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, The University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, 113-0032 Japan.


Although the nuclear genome sequence of Cyanidioschyzon merolae 10D, a unicellular red alga, was recently determined, DNA transformation technology that is important as a model plant system has never been available thus far. In this study, improved culture conditions resulted in a faster growth rate of C. merolae in liquid medium (doubling time = 9.2 h), and colony formation on gellan gum plates. Using these conditions, spontaneous mutants (5-fluoroortic acid resistant) deficient in the UMP synthase gene were isolated. The lesions were then restored by introducing the wild-type UMP synthase gene into the cells suggesting DNA transformation by homologous recombination.

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