Genetic tool development in marine protists: emerging model organisms for experimental cell biology

Drahomíra Faktorová, R. Ellen R. Nisbet, José A. Fernández Robledo, Elena Casacuberta, Lisa Sudek, Andrew E. Allen, Manuel Ares, Cristina Aresté, Cecilia Balestreri, Adrian C. Barbrook, Patrick Beardslee, Sara Bender, David S. Booth, François Yves Bouget, Chris Bowler, Susana A. Breglia, Colin Brownlee, Gertraud Burger, Heriberto Cerutti, Rachele CesaroniMiguel A. Chiurillo, Thomas Clemente, Duncan B. Coles, Jackie L. Collier, Elizabeth C. Cooney, Kathryn Coyne, Roberto Docampo, Christopher L. Dupont, Virginia Edgcomb, Elin Einarsson, Pía A. Elustondo, Fernan Federici, Veronica Freire-Beneitez, Nastasia J. Freyria, Kodai Fukuda, Paulo A. García, Peter R. Girguis, Fatma Gomaa, Sebastian G. Gornik, Jian Guo, Vladimír Hampl, Yutaka Hanawa, Esteban R. Haro-Contreras, Elisabeth Hehenberger, Andrea Highfield, Yoshihisa Hirakawa, Amanda Hopes, Christopher J. Howe, Ian Hu, Jorge Ibañez, Nicholas A.T. Irwin, Yuu Ishii, Natalia Ewa Janowicz, Adam C. Jones, Ambar Kachale, Konomi Fujimura-Kamada, Binnypreet Kaur, Jonathan Z. Kaye, Eleanna Kazana, Patrick J. Keeling, Nicole King, Lawrence A. Klobutcher, Noelia Lander, Imen Lassadi, Zhuhong Li, Senjie Lin, Jean Claude Lozano, Fulei Luan, Shinichiro Maruyama, Tamara Matute, Cristina Miceli, Jun Minagawa, Mark Moosburner, Sebastián R. Najle, Deepak Nanjappa, Isabel C. Nimmo, Luke Noble, Anna M.G. Novák Vanclová, Mariusz Nowacki, Isaac Nuñez, Arnab Pain, Angela Piersanti, Sandra Pucciarelli, Jan Pyrih, Joshua S. Rest, Mariana Rius, Deborah Robertson, Albane Ruaud, Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo, Monika A. Sigg, Pamela A. Silver, Claudio H. Slamovits, G. Jason Smith, Brittany N. Sprecher, Rowena Stern, Estienne C. Swart, Anastasios D. Tsaousis, Lev Tsypin, Aaron Turkewitz, Jernej Turnšek, Matus Valach, Valérie Vergé, Peter von Dassow, Tobias von der Haar, Ross F. Waller, Lu Wang, Xiaoxue Wen, Glen Wheeler, April Woods, Huan Zhang, Thomas Mock, Alexandra Z. Worden, Julius Lukeš

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Diverse microbial ecosystems underpin life in the sea. Among these microbes are many unicellular eukaryotes that span the diversity of the eukaryotic tree of life. However, genetic tractability has been limited to a few species, which do not represent eukaryotic diversity or environmentally relevant taxa. Here, we report on the development of genetic tools in a range of protists primarily from marine environments. We present evidence for foreign DNA delivery and expression in 13 species never before transformed and for advancement of tools for eight other species, as well as potential reasons for why transformation of yet another 17 species tested was not achieved. Our resource in genetic manipulation will provide insights into the ancestral eukaryotic lifeforms, general eukaryote cell biology, protein diversification and the evolution of cellular pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-494
Number of pages14
JournalNature Methods
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
GBMF4962 to J.A.F.R.; GBMF4980 and 4980.01 to S.L.; GBMF 4977 and 4977.01 to R.F.W.; GBMF4962.01 to C.H.S.; GBMF4985 to J.M.; GBMF4976 and 4976.01 to C.H.; GBMF4963 and 4963.01 to V.E.; GBMF5007 to C.L.D.; GBMF4983 and 4983.01 to J.L.; GBMF4975 and 4975.01 to A.D.T.; GBMF4973 and 4973.01 to I.R.-T. and GBMF4965 to N.K.), by The Leverhulme Trust (RPG-2017-364) to T. Mock and A. Hopes, and by ERD funds (16_019/0000759) from the Czech Ministry of Education to J.L.

Funding Information:
We thank M. Salisbury and D. Lacono, C. Poirier, M. Hamilton, C. Eckmann, H. Igel, C. Yung and K. Hoadley for assistance; V.K. Nagarajan, M. Accerbi and P.J. Green who carried out Agrobacterium studies in Heterosigma akashiwo, and N. Kraeva, C. Bianchi and V. Yurchenko for the help with designing the p57-V5+NeoR construct. We are also grateful to the team (L. Teytelman and A. Broellochs) for their support. This collaborative effort was supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation EMS Program of the Marine Microbiology Initiative (grant nos. GBMF4972 and 4972.01 to F.-Y.B.; GBMF4970 and 4970.01 to M.A. and A.Z.W.; GBMF3788 to A.Z.W.; GBMF 4968 and 4968.01 to H.C.; GBMF4984 to V.H.; GBMF4974 and 4974.01 to C. Brownlee; GBMF4964 to Y. Hirakawa; GBMF4961 to T. Mock; GBMF4958 to P.S.; GBMF4957 to A.T.; GBMF4960 to G.J.S.; GBMF4979 to K.C.; GBMF4982 and 4982.01 to J.L.C.; GBMF4964 to P.J.K.; GBMF4981 to P.v.D.; GBMF5006 to A.E.A.; GBMF4986 to C.M.;

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature America, Inc.


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