skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Development of a high-productivity, halophilic, thermotolerant microalga Picochlorum renovo

Abstract

Microalgae are promising biocatalysts for applications in sustainable fuel, food, and chemical production. Here, we describe culture collection screening, down-selection, and development of a high-productivity, halophilic, thermotolerant microalga, Picochlorum renovo. This microalga displays a rapid growth rate and high diel biomass productivity (34 g m -2 day -1), with a composition well-suited for downstream processing. P. renovo exhibits broad salinity tolerance (growth at 107.5 g L -1 salinity) and thermotolerance (growth up to 40 degrees C), beneficial traits for outdoor cultivation. We report complete genome sequencing and analysis, and genetic tool development suitable for expression of transgenes inserted into the nuclear or chloroplast genomes. We further evaluate mechanisms of halotolerance via comparative transcriptomics, identifying novel genes differentially regulated in response to high salinity cultivation. These findings will enable basic science inquiries into control mechanisms governing Picochlorum biology and lay the foundation for development of a microalga with industrially relevant traits as a model photobiology platform.

Authors:
 [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [3];  [3];  [3];  [4];  [4]; ORCiD logo [4];  [1]; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States). Dept. of Chemistry
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States). Computational Science Center
  3. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States). National Bioenergy Center
  4. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Bioenergy Technologies Office (EE-3B)
OSTI Identifier:
1573782
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5100-74332
Journal ID: ISSN 2399-3642
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Communications Biology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 2; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2399-3642
Publisher:
Springer Nature
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; 59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; picochlorum; microalgae; genetic engineering; high productivity; transformation; chloroplast; nuclear; halophile; halotolerance; thermotolerance

Citation Formats

Dahlin, Lukas R., Gerritsen, Alida T., Henard, Calvin A., Van Wychen, Stefanie R., Linger, Jeffrey G., Kunde, Yuliya, Hovde, Blake T., Starkenburg, Shawn R., Posewitz, Matthew C., and Guarnieri, Michael T. Development of a high-productivity, halophilic, thermotolerant microalga Picochlorum renovo. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1038/s42003-019-0620-2.
Dahlin, Lukas R., Gerritsen, Alida T., Henard, Calvin A., Van Wychen, Stefanie R., Linger, Jeffrey G., Kunde, Yuliya, Hovde, Blake T., Starkenburg, Shawn R., Posewitz, Matthew C., & Guarnieri, Michael T. Development of a high-productivity, halophilic, thermotolerant microalga Picochlorum renovo. United States. doi:10.1038/s42003-019-0620-2.
Dahlin, Lukas R., Gerritsen, Alida T., Henard, Calvin A., Van Wychen, Stefanie R., Linger, Jeffrey G., Kunde, Yuliya, Hovde, Blake T., Starkenburg, Shawn R., Posewitz, Matthew C., and Guarnieri, Michael T. Wed . "Development of a high-productivity, halophilic, thermotolerant microalga Picochlorum renovo". United States. doi:10.1038/s42003-019-0620-2. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1573782.
@article{osti_1573782,
title = {Development of a high-productivity, halophilic, thermotolerant microalga Picochlorum renovo},
author = {Dahlin, Lukas R. and Gerritsen, Alida T. and Henard, Calvin A. and Van Wychen, Stefanie R. and Linger, Jeffrey G. and Kunde, Yuliya and Hovde, Blake T. and Starkenburg, Shawn R. and Posewitz, Matthew C. and Guarnieri, Michael T.},
abstractNote = {Microalgae are promising biocatalysts for applications in sustainable fuel, food, and chemical production. Here, we describe culture collection screening, down-selection, and development of a high-productivity, halophilic, thermotolerant microalga, Picochlorum renovo. This microalga displays a rapid growth rate and high diel biomass productivity (34 g m-2 day-1), with a composition well-suited for downstream processing. P. renovo exhibits broad salinity tolerance (growth at 107.5 g L-1 salinity) and thermotolerance (growth up to 40 degrees C), beneficial traits for outdoor cultivation. We report complete genome sequencing and analysis, and genetic tool development suitable for expression of transgenes inserted into the nuclear or chloroplast genomes. We further evaluate mechanisms of halotolerance via comparative transcriptomics, identifying novel genes differentially regulated in response to high salinity cultivation. These findings will enable basic science inquiries into control mechanisms governing Picochlorum biology and lay the foundation for development of a microalga with industrially relevant traits as a model photobiology platform.},
doi = {10.1038/s42003-019-0620-2},
journal = {Communications Biology},
number = 1,
volume = 2,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {10}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

C HLAMYDOMONAS AS A M ODEL O RGANISM
journal, June 2001


An Outlook on Microalgal Biofuels
journal, August 2010


Aquatic phototrophs: efficient alternatives to land-based crops for biofuels
journal, June 2008

  • Dismukes, G. Charles; Carrieri, Damian; Bennette, Nicholas
  • Current Opinion in Biotechnology, Vol. 19, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.copbio.2008.05.007

Lipid production in Nannochloropsis gaditana is doubled by decreasing expression of a single transcriptional regulator
journal, June 2017

  • Ajjawi, Imad; Verruto, John; Aqui, Moena
  • Nature Biotechnology, Vol. 35, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1038/nbt.3865

High-light selection produces a fast-growing Picochlorum celeri
journal, December 2018


High-efficiency homologous recombination in the oil-producing alga Nannochloropsis sp.
journal, November 2011

  • Kilian, O.; Benemann, C. S. E.; Niyogi, K. K.
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 108, Issue 52, p. 21265-21269
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1105861108

Draft genome sequence and genetic transformation of the oleaginous alga Nannochloropsis gaditana
journal, January 2012

  • Radakovits, Randor; Jinkerson, Robert E.; Fuerstenberg, Susan I.
  • Nature Communications, Vol. 3, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1688

Genome of the halotolerant green alga P icochlorum sp. reveals strategies for thriving under fluctuating environmental conditions : Genome analysis of
journal, July 2014

  • Foflonker, Fatima; Price, Dana C.; Qiu, Huan
  • Environmental Microbiology, Vol. 17, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.12541

The unexpected extremophile: Tolerance to fluctuating salinity in the green alga Picochlorum
journal, June 2016


Genome Analyses of the Microalga Picochlorum Provide Insights into the Evolution of Thermotolerance in the Green Lineage
journal, August 2018

  • Krasovec, Marc; Vancaester, Emmelien; Rombauts, Stephane
  • Genome Biology and Evolution, Vol. 10, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evy167

Establishment of a bioenergy-focused microalgal culture collection
journal, October 2012


Down-Selection and Outdoor Evaluation of Novel, Halotolerant Algal Strains for Winter Cultivation
journal, October 2018

  • Dahlin, Lukas R.; Van Wychen, Stefanie; Gerken, Henri G.
  • Frontiers in Plant Science, Vol. 9
  • DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2018.01513

Review of the cultivation program within the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts
journal, March 2017


The conserved ciliary protein Bug22 controls planar beating of Chlamydomonas flagella
journal, November 2013

  • Meng, D.; Cao, M.; Oda, T.
  • Journal of Cell Science, Vol. 127, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1242/jcs.140723

Assembly and Motility of Eukaryotic Cilia and Flagella. Lessons from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
journal, December 2001

  • Silflow, Carolyn D.; Lefebvre, Paul A.
  • Plant Physiology, Vol. 127, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1104/pp.010807

Signal transduction during fertilization in the unicellular green alga, Chlamydomonas
journal, December 2000


Pheromone signaling during sexual reproduction in algae
journal, May 2014

  • Frenkel, Johannes; Vyverman, Wim; Pohnert, Georg
  • The Plant Journal, Vol. 79, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1111/tpj.12496

Using Core Genome Alignments To Assign Bacterial Species
journal, December 2018


Expanding the spectral palette of fluorescent proteins for the green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
journal, April 2013

  • Rasala, Beth A.; Barrera, Daniel J.; Ng, Jenny
  • The Plant Journal, Vol. 74, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1111/tpj.12165

A predictive biophysical model of translational coupling to coordinate and control protein expression in bacterial operons
journal, June 2015

  • Tian, Tian; Salis, Howard M.
  • Nucleic Acids Research, Vol. 43, Issue 14
  • DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkv635

Characterization of Heterologous Multigene Operons in Transgenic Chloroplasts. Transcription, Processing, and Translation
journal, June 2005

  • Quesada-Vargas, Tania; Ruiz, Oscar N.; Daniell, Henry
  • Plant Physiology, Vol. 138, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1104/pp.105.063040

Production of recombinant enzymes in the marine alga Dunaliella tertiolecta
journal, January 2013


Long-Term Cultivation of Algae in Open-Raceway Ponds: Lessons from the Field
journal, August 2015

  • White, Rebecca L.; Ryan, Rebecca A.
  • Industrial Biotechnology, Vol. 11, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1089/ind.2015.0006

Combined algal processing: A novel integrated biorefinery process to produce algal biofuels and bioproducts
journal, November 2016


Circadian control of carbohydrate availability for growth in Arabidopsis plants at night
journal, May 2010

  • Graf, A.; Schlereth, A.; Stitt, M.
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 107, Issue 20
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0914299107

The Chlamydomonas cell cycle
journal, March 2015

  • Cross, Frederick R.; Umen, James G.
  • The Plant Journal, Vol. 82, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1111/tpj.12795

Transcriptional coordination of physiological responses in Nannochloropsis oceanica CCMP1779 under light/dark cycles
journal, August 2015

  • Poliner, Eric; Panchy, Nicholas; Newton, Linsey
  • The Plant Journal, Vol. 83, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1111/tpj.12944

Cell-cycle regulation in green algae dividing by multiple fission
journal, January 2014

  • Bišová, Kateřina; Zachleder, Vilém
  • Journal of Experimental Botany, Vol. 65, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1093/jxb/ert466

The impact of nitrogen starvation on the dynamics of triacylglycerol accumulation in nine microalgae strains
journal, November 2012


Isolation of a LIM15/DMC1 homolog from the basidiomycete Coprinus cinereus and its expression in relation to meiotic chromosome pairing
journal, December 1999

  • Nara, T.; Saka, T.; Sawado, T.
  • Molecular and General Genetics MGG, Vol. 262, Issue 4-5
  • DOI: 10.1007/s004380051141

Rad54, the motor of homologous recombination
journal, March 2010


Rad54: the Swiss Army knife of homologous recombination?
journal, August 2006

  • Heyer, Wolf-Dietrich; Li, Xuan; Rolfsmeier, Michael
  • Nucleic Acids Research, Vol. 34, Issue 15
  • DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkl481

High NaCl causes Mre11 to leave the nucleus, disrupting DNA damage signaling and repair
journal, August 2003

  • Dmitrieva, Natalia I.; Bulavin, Dmitry V.; Burg, Maurice B.
  • American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology, Vol. 285, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1152/ajprenal.00060.2003

Hyperosmolality in the form of elevated NaCl but not urea causes DNA damage in murine kidney cells
journal, February 2001

  • Kultz, D.; Chakravarty, D.
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 98, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.98.4.1999

Meiotic genes and sexual reproduction in the green algal class Trebouxiophyceae (Chlorophyta)
journal, April 2015

  • Fučíková, Karolina; Pažoutová, Marie; Rindi, Fabio
  • Journal of Phycology, Vol. 51, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1111/jpy.12293

Enhanced Genetic Tools for Engineering Multigene Traits into Green Algae
journal, April 2014


Analysis of the Phthiocerol Dimycocerosate Locus of Mycobacterium tuberculosis : EVIDENCE THAT THIS LIPID IS INVOLVED IN THE CELL WALL PERMEABILITY BARRIER
journal, March 2001

  • Camacho, Luis R.; Constant, Patricia; Raynaud, Catherine
  • Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol. 276, Issue 23
  • DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M100662200

Lipid signalling in plant responses to abiotic stress: Lipid signalling in plant responses to abiotic stress
journal, February 2016

  • Hou, Quancan; Ufer, Guido; Bartels, Dorothea
  • Plant, Cell & Environment, Vol. 39, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1111/pce.12666

Improved and versatile viral 2A platforms for dependable and inducible high-level expression of dicistronic nuclear genes in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
journal, May 2015

  • Plucinak, Thomas M.; Horken, Kempton M.; Jiang, Wenzhi
  • The Plant Journal, Vol. 82, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1111/tpj.12844

Over-accumulation of astaxanthin in Haematococcus pluvialis through chloroplast genetic engineering
journal, April 2018


BRAKER1: Unsupervised RNA-Seq-Based Genome Annotation with GeneMark-ET and AUGUSTUS: Table 1.
journal, November 2015


Using native and syntenically mapped cDNA alignments to improve de novo gene finding
journal, January 2008


InterProScan 5: genome-scale protein function classification
journal, January 2014


UniProt: the universal protein knowledgebase
journal, February 2018

  • UniProt Consortium, The
  • Nucleic Acids Research, Vol. 46, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1093/nar/gky092

Salmon provides fast and bias-aware quantification of transcript expression
journal, March 2017

  • Patro, Rob; Duggal, Geet; Love, Michael I.
  • Nature Methods, Vol. 14, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.4197

edgeR: a Bioconductor package for differential expression analysis of digital gene expression data
journal, November 2009


Alignment of whole genomes
journal, January 1999

  • Delcher, A. L.; Kasif, S.; Fleischmann, R. D.
  • Nucleic Acids Research, Vol. 27, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.1093/nar/27.11.2369

Nuclear, Chloroplast, and Mitochondrial Genome Sequences of the Prospective Microalgal Biofuel Strain Picochlorum soloecismus
journal, January 2018

  • Gonzalez-Esquer, C. Raul; Twary, Scott N.; Hovde, Blake T.
  • Genome Announcements, Vol. 6, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1128/genomeA.01498-17

Basic local alignment search tool
journal, October 1990

  • Altschul, Stephen F.; Gish, Warren; Miller, Webb
  • Journal of Molecular Biology, Vol. 215, Issue 3, p. 403-410
  • DOI: 10.1016/S0022-2836(05)80360-2

REVIGO Summarizes and Visualizes Long Lists of Gene Ontology Terms
journal, July 2011


Biolistic transformation of prokaryotes: factors that affect biolistic transformation of very small cells
journal, January 1992

  • Smith, F. D.; Harpending, P. R.; Sanford, J. C.
  • Journal of General Microbiology, Vol. 138, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1099/00221287-138-1-239