Protoplast Preparation for Algal Single-Cell Omics Sequencing

Microorganisms. 2023 Feb 20;11(2):538. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms11020538.


Single-cell sequencing (SCS) is an evolutionary technique for conducting life science research, providing the highest genome-sale throughput and single-cell resolution and unprecedented capabilities in addressing mechanistic and operational questions. Unfortunately, the current SCS pipeline cannot be directly applied to algal research as algal cells have cell walls, which makes RNA extraction hard for the current SCS platforms. Fortunately, effective methods are available for producing algal protoplasts (cells without cell walls), which can be directly fed into current SCS pipelines. In this review, we first summarize the cell wall structure and chemical composition of algal cell walls, particularly in Chlorophyta, then summarize the advances made in preparing algal protoplasts using physical, chemical, and biological methods, followed by specific cases of algal protoplast production in some commonly used eukaryotic algae. This review provides a timely primer to those interested in applying SCS in eukaryotic algal research.

Keywords: Chlorella vulgaris; algal protoplast; bead; cell wall; cellulose; enzymatic lysis; sequencing; single-cell.

Publication types

  • Review