Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Biologists produce rainbow-colored algae

Date:
March 7, 2013
Source:
University of California, San Diego
Summary:
What can green algae do for science if they weren’t, well, green?

Scientists engineered a green alga used commonly in laboratories, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, into a rainbow of different colors by producing six different colored fluorescent proteins in the algae cells.
Credit: Beth Rasala, UC San Diego

What can green algae do for science if they weren't, well, green?

That's the question biologists at UC San Diego sought to answer when they engineered a green alga used commonly in laboratories, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, into a rainbow of different colors by producing six different colored fluorescent proteins in the algae cells.

While fluorescent green, red, blue and yellow may be all the rage this year for running shoes and other kinds of sporting gear, fluorescent algae hasn't been a style trend yet in scientific laboratories. But in announcing their achievement in the current issue of The Plant Journal, the UC San Diego biologists said tagging algae with different kinds of fluorescent proteins would provide an important laboratory tool for algae researchers. It could be used to sort different kinds of cells, allow scientists to view cellular structures like the cytoskeleton and flagella, or even to create "fusion proteins," allowing scientists to follow a protein around the cell.

Although rainbow colored algae are not likely to end up in a store near you any time soon, the scientists say they are powerful tools that will allow biologists working on algae to make biotechnology developments more rapidly, ultimately leading to the production of lower-cost biofuels and cheaper human and animal therapeutics. Several months ago, biologists in the same UC San Diego laboratory reported genetically engineering Chlamydomonas algae to produce a complex and expensive human therapeutic drug used to treat cancer.

The rainbow-colored algae were developed by a collaboration that included scientists from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Beth Rasala, a postdoctoral fellow in Mayfield's laboratory, is the lead author of The Plant Journal paper. The research was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the California Energy Commission.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California, San Diego. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California, San Diego. "Biologists produce rainbow-colored algae." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307145109.htm>.
University of California, San Diego. (2013, March 7). Biologists produce rainbow-colored algae. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307145109.htm
University of California, San Diego. "Biologists produce rainbow-colored algae." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307145109.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins