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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Dec 27;108(52):21265-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1105861108. Epub 2011 Nov 28.

High-efficiency homologous recombination in the oil-producing alga Nannochloropsis sp.

Author information

1
Aurora Algae, Inc, Hayward, CA 94545, USA.

Abstract

Algae have reemerged as potential next-generation feedstocks for biofuels, but strain improvement and progress in algal biology research have been limited by the lack of advanced molecular tools for most eukaryotic microalgae. Here we describe the development of an efficient transformation method for Nannochloropsis sp., a fast-growing, unicellular alga capable of accumulating large amounts of oil. Moreover, we provide additional evidence that Nannochloropsis is haploid, and we demonstrate that insertion of transformation constructs into the nuclear genome can occur by high-efficiency homologous recombination. As examples, we generated knockouts of the genes encoding nitrate reductase and nitrite reductase, resulting in strains that were unable to grow on nitrate and nitrate/nitrite, respectively. The application of homologous recombination in this industrially relevant alga has the potential to rapidly advance algal functional genomics and biotechnology.

PMID:
22123974
PMCID:
PMC3248512
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1105861108
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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