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Elife. 2019 Jul 18;8. pii: e45292. doi: 10.7554/eLife.45292.

Genetic transformation of the dinoflagellate chloroplast.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
2
Red Sea Research Center, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia.
3
Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development, Sunway University, Bandar Sunway, Malaysia.
4
Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
5
Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, University College London, London, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Coral reefs are some of the most important and ecologically diverse marine environments. At the base of the reef ecosystem are dinoflagellate algae, which live symbiotically within coral cells. Efforts to understand the relationship between alga and coral have been greatly hampered by the lack of an appropriate dinoflagellate genetic transformation technology. By making use of the plasmid-like fragmented chloroplast genome, we have introduced novel genetic material into the dinoflagellate chloroplast genome. We have shown that the introduced genes are expressed and confer the expected phenotypes. Genetically modified cultures have been grown for 1 year with subculturing, maintaining the introduced genes and phenotypes. This indicates that cells continue to divide after transformation and that the transformation is stable. This is the first report of stable chloroplast transformation in dinoflagellate algae.

KEYWORDS:

Amphidinium; chloroplast; coral reef; dinoflagellate; ecology; transformation; zooxanthella

PMID:
31317866
PMCID:
PMC6639071
DOI:
10.7554/eLife.45292
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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