Genome editing with removable TALEN vectors harboring a yeast centromere and autonomous replication sequence in oleaginous microalga
Algal lipids are expected to become a basis for sustainable fuels because of the highly efficient lipid production by photosynthesis accompanied by carbon dioxide assimilation. Molecular breeding of microalgae has been studied to improve algal lipid production, but the resultant gene-modified algae containing transgenes are rarely used for outdoor culture because the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is strictly restricted under biocontainment regulations. Recently, it was reported that plasmids containing yeast centromere and autonomous replication sequence (CEN/ARS) behaved as episomes in Nannochloropsis species. We previously reported that the Platinum TALEN (PtTALEN) system exhibited high activity in Nannochloropsis oceanica. Therefore, we attempted to develop a genome editing system in which the expression vectors for PtTALEN can be removed from host cells after introduction of mutations. Using all-in-one PtTALEN plasmids containing CEN/ARS, targeted mutations and removal of all-in-one vectors were observed in N. oceanica, suggesting that our all-in-one PtTALEN vectors enable the construction of mutated N. oceanica without any transgenes. This system will be a feasible method for constructing non-GMO high-performance algae.
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