Plant Science


Protocols in Current Issue
Protocols in Past Issues
0 Q&A 3501 Views Sep 5, 2019
The ability to achieve nuclear or chloroplast transformation in plants has been a long standing goal, especially in microalgae research. Over past years there has been only little success, but transient and stable nuclear transformation has been achieved in multiple species. Our newly developed method allows for relatively simple transformation of Cyanidioschizon merolae in both nuclear and chloroplast genome by means of homologous recombination between the genome and a transformation vector. The use of chloramphenicol resistance gene as the selectable marker allows for plate-based efficient selection of mutant colonies. Overall, the method allows the generation of mutant strains within 6 months.
0 Q&A 4695 Views Apr 5, 2019
The unicellular red alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae has been used as a eukaryotic photosynthetic model for various basic and applied studies. Although the nuclear genome of C. merolae can be modified by homologous recombination with exogenously introduced DNA, it has been difficult to modify multiple chromosome loci within the same strain because of the limited number of available positive selection markers. Recently, we reported a modified URA5.3 gene cassette (URA5.3T), which can be used repeatedly for nuclear genome transformation using the pMKT plasmid vectors for epitope tagging (3x FLAG- or 3x Myc-) of nuclear-encoded proteins. In addition, these plasmid vectors can also be used to knock out multiple genes one by one. This report describes the construction of DNA fragments for transformation and the detailed transformation procedure.
1 Q&A 12356 Views Dec 5, 2017
Genome editing in diatoms has recently been established for the model species Phaeodactylum tricornutum and Thalassiosira pseudonana. The present protocol, although developed for T. pseudonana, can be modified to edit any diatom genome as we utilize the flexible, modular Golden Gate cloning system. The main steps include how to design a construct using Golden Gate cloning for targeting two sites, allowing a precise deletion to be introduced into the target gene. The transformation protocol is explained, as are the methods for screening using band shift assay and/or restriction site loss.
0 Q&A 8807 Views May 20, 2016
To prepare the knockdown transformants of the Closterium peracerosum-strigosum-littorale (C. psl.) complex, particle bombardment was applied with a newly constructed vector (pSA0104) with an endogenous constitutive promoter fused to a DNA fragment corresponding to an antisense strand of a target gene. Using a hygromycin resistance gene (aph7”), hygromycin-resistant colonies were selected. After the second screening, integration of the vector into the genome was checked by PCR and the knockdown effect was evaluated by Western blotting using a specific antibody against the target protein.
0 Q&A 8114 Views Dec 20, 2015
The unicellular microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (C. reinhardtii) has been used as a reference model for numerous fields of research. Principle research areas are eukaryotic flagellar structure and function, basal bodies (centrioles), cell-cell recognition, cell cycle control, chloroplast biogenesis, phototaxis, nonphotochemical quenching, and especially photosynthesis for C. reinhardtii can grow in the dark on an organic carbon (e.g. acetate), and thus provides advantages over land plants (Harris, 2001; Peers et al., 2009). C. reinhardtii has a short life cycle, a sequenced genome (Merchant et al., 2007), and a growing molecular toolbox for forward and reverse genetic studies, including transformation protocols, gene silencing (Kim and Cerutti, 2009; Molnar et al., 2009), and fluorescent protein-tag (Rasala et al., 2013). There are two commonly used methods for C. reinhardtii transformation – electroporation and glass bead agitation. Electroporation is normally restricted to strains with cell wall, as it kills cell-wall-deficient strains effectively if without careful handling of osmosis. Electroporation also requires special instruments such as electroporator and cuvettes. In contrast, glass bead agitation uses simple lab equipment. The mild shear created by agitation in the presence of glass bead allows cell-wall-deficient strains to take up DNA. If glass bead method is to be applied to cell-wall strains, cells need to be treated with autolysin ( to partially lyse the wall components. A pitfall of both methods is that the DNAs are often shortened by nuclease once entering the cells, making the downstream PCR-based genotyping of insertion site rather difficult. Here I describe an improved design of insertional mutagenesis used in (Tsai et al., 2014), and the transformation protocol using glass bead as previously described in (Kindle, 1990) with minor modification. The putative mutants can be selected by autotrophic or antibiotic resistance markers, and the disrupted loci can be mapped by methods such as plasmid rescue (Peers et al., 2009) and SiteFinding PCR (Tan et al., 2005).
0 Q&A 11879 Views Aug 5, 2015
Dictyochloropsis is an ecologically important genus of free-living and symbiotic green algae. Representatives of this genus are horizontally transmitted among several fungi of the family Lobariaceae, thus forming photobiont-mediated guilds. This protocol is suitable for extracting DNA from algal cultures and lichen samples and for genotyping seven unlinked Dictyochloropsis reticulata microsatellite markers in a single PCR multiplex.

Figure 1. Schematic representation of the analysis pipeline

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