"Development of molecular tools for the control of the expression of genes (knockout of native genes, constitutive or promoter-dependent expression of transgenes) in Nannochloropsis species"

Coordinateur: Yonghua Li-Beisson (iBEB), Giovanni Finazzi (iRTSV/LPCV)


Successful employment of microalgae of potential industrial interest for biofuel applications requires a deep knowledge of their metabolism as well as the capacity of engineer it using reliable tools. Nannochloropsis has recently emerged as an attractive model because:

  1. it complies with industrial applications;
  2. its genome is sequenced;
  3. homologous recombination occurs in its nucleus.

This last feature is of paramount importance, because it allows gene knockout approaches opening the perspective of extensive genetic engineering. The major goal of this project (Phase I) is to develop tools to domesticate Nannochloropsis (test of natural strains, create gene expression databanks, master homologous recombination). In Phase II (depending on additional funding), candidate genes will be tested using the tools developed in Phase I.


LB3M, CEA de Cadarache
LPCV, CEA de Grenoble