Tools and techniques for chloroplast transformation of Chlamydomonas

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;616:34-45. doi: 10.1007/978-0-387-75532-8_4.


The chloroplast organelle of plant and algal cells contains its own genetic system with a genome of a hundred or so genes. Stable transformation of the chloroplast was first achieved in 1988, using the newly developed biolistic method of DNA delivery to introduce cloned DNA into the genome of the green unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Since that time there have been significant developments in chloroplast genetic engineering using this versatile organism, and it is probable that the next few years will see increasing interest in commercial applications whereby high-value therapeutic proteins and other recombinant products are synthesized in the Chlamydomonas chloroplast. In this chapter I review the basic methodology of chloroplast transformation, the current techniques and applications, and the future possibilities for using the Chlamydomonas chloroplast as a green organelle factory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii / genetics*
  • Chloroplasts / genetics*
  • Photosynthesis / physiology*
  • Photosystem I Protein Complex* / genetics
  • Photosystem I Protein Complex* / metabolism
  • Transformation, Genetic*


  • Photosystem I Protein Complex