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The purpose of this study was to express an antimicrobial peptide in the chloroplast to further develop the plastid engineering of H. pluvialis. Homologous targeting of the 16S-trnI/trnA-23S region and four endogenous regulatory elements, including the psbA promoter, rbcL promoter, rbcL terminator, and psbA terminator in H. pluvialis, were performed to construct a chloroplast transformation vector for H. pluvialis. The expression of codon-optimized antimicrobial peptide piscidin-4 gene (ant1) and selection marker gene (bar, biolaphos resistance gene) in the chloroplast of H. pluvialis was controlled by the rbcL promoter and psbA promoter, respectively. Upon biolistic transformation and selection with phosphinothricin, integration and expression of ant1 in the chloroplast genome were detected using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), southern blotting, and western blotting. Using this method, we successfully expressed antimicrobial peptide piscidin-4 in H. pluvialis. Hence, our results showed H. pluvialis promises as a platform for expressing recombinant proteins for biotechnological applications, which will further contribute to promoting genetic engineering improvement of this strain.


Kang Wang, Yulin Cui, Yinchu Wang, Zhengquan Gao, Tianzhong Liu, Chunxiao Meng, Song Qin. Chloroplast Genetic Engineering of a Unicellular Green Alga Haematococcus pluvialis with Expression of an Antimicrobial Peptide. Marine biotechnology (New York, N.Y.). 2020 Aug;22(4):572-580

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PMID: 32535692

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