Using a Hand-Held Gene Gun for Genetic Transformation of Tetrahymena thermophila

Methods Mol Biol. 2022:2364:349-361. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-1661-1_18.


Biolistic bombardment is widely used as a means of delivering vector-coated microparticles into microorganisms, cultured cells, and tissues. The first particle delivery system contained a helium propulsion unit (the gun) mounted in a vacuum-controlled chamber. In contrast, the hand-held gene gun does not operate within a chamber. It is completely hand-held, easy, and efficient to use, and it requires minimal space on the laboratory bench top. This chapter describes protocols for using a hand-held gene gun to deliver transformation vectors for overexpression of genes or gene replacement into the macronucleus of Tetrahymena thermophila. The protocols provide helpful information for preparing Tetrahymena for biolistic bombardment, preparation of vector-coated microcarriers, and basic gene gun operating procedures.

Keywords: Biolistic bombardment; Gene gun; Gene replacement; Microcarriers; Overexpression; Tetrahymena.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biolistics
  • Cell Line
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Tetrahymena thermophila* / genetics
  • Transformation, Genetic