Simple transfection of giant single cell algae (Caulerpa)

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Simple transfection of giant single cell algae (Caulerpa)

Postby Ghost » Dec 10 2016 3:57 am

I am interested in genetic modification of plants and other organisms. I work in biotech but my work does not involve DNA/RNA. I have a saltwater aquarium and one of the macroalgaes I have is in the genus Caulerpa. This is an interesting organism because it is a green algae that can grow very large but it is a single multi nucleated cell. Obviously this is interesting because it has distinct anatomical structures such as roots, leaves, stems, and reproductive organs.

It seems the most challenging part of transformation is introducing the DNA into the cell (Agrobacerium, electroporation, lipofectamine, etc.) Because Caulerpa is a single cell perhaps DNA could be directly injected into the tissue? The outside is slightly waxy (like kelp or other seaweed) and the inside is a kind of gel (like bull kelp or Aloe vera). I'm not sure if this inner tissue is where the nuclei are or if they are exclusively in a think layer surrounding this tissue. Also in a cell with many nuclei some may take up the DNA and others may not.

Any thoughts on this or micro injection, or any simple ways to permanently transform non-bacterial organisms?
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