Photosynthetic microalgae hold great promise as non-food feedstocks for the sustainable production of a range of bio-products and genetic engineering is an increasingly important strategy to improve the natural cellular features. For the vast majority of microalgal strains, however, genetic engineering is not yet possible and the establishment of efficient genetic tools for a broad range of microalgal species is an important task to reach biotechnological success. Stable DNA transformation is one of the crucial steps for most genetic engineering approaches. In this context, we report the first successful and stable nuclear genetic transformation of the biotechnologically promising oleaginous microalga M. neglectum. Transformation was achieved by electroporation and the efficiency could progressively be improved by implementation of an additional cell pretreatment step, aiming at weakening the rigid natural cell wall. Furthermore, a first reporter transgene was established for M. neglectum. As a result of this work, genetic engineering strategies now become accessible which are required to successfully establish M. neglectum as a novel host for biotechnological applications.
- Fluorescent proteins
- Monoraphidium neglectum
- Nuclear transformation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology