A simple method for chloroplast transformation in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

Vellupillai M. Ramesh, Scott E. Bingham, Andrew Webber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Photosystem I (PSI) is a multisubunit pigment-protein complex that uses light energy to transfer electrons from plastocyanin to ferredoxin. Application of genetic engineering to photosynthetic reaction center proteins has led to a significant advancement in our understanding of primary electron transfer events and the role of the protein environment in modulating these processes. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii provides a system particularly amenable to analyze the structure-function relationship of Photosystem I. C. reinhardtii is also a particularly favorable organism for chloroplast transformation because it contains only a single chloroplast and grows heterotrophically when supplemented with acetate. Chlamydomonas has, therefore, served as a model organism for the development of chloroplast transformation procedures and the study of photosynthetic mutants generated using this method. Exogenous cloned cpDNA can be introduced into the chloroplast by using this biolistic gene gun method. DNA-coated tungsten or gold particles are bombarded onto cells. Upon its entry into chloroplasts, the transforming DNA is released from the particles and integrated into the chloroplast genome through homologous recombination. The most versatile chloroplast selectable marker is aminoglycoside adenyl transferase (aadA), which can be expressed in the chloroplast to confer resistance to spectinomycin or streptomycin. This article describes the procedures for chloroplast transformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-320
Number of pages8
JournalMethods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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