Shabnam Shamriz and Hamideh Ofoghi
Biotechnol Genet Eng Rev. 2017 Mar 30:1-15

Microalgae, also called microphytes, are a vast group of microscopic photosynthetic organisms living in aquatic ecosystems. Microalgae have attracted the attention of biotechnology industry as a platform for extracting natural products with high commercial value. During last decades, microalgae have been also used as cost-effective and easily scalable platform for the production of recombinant proteins with medical and industrial applications. Most progress in this field has been made with Chlamydomonas reinhardtii as a model organism mainly because of its simple life cycle, well-established genetics and ease of cultivation. However, due to the scarcity of existing infrastructure for commercial production and processing together with relatively low product yields, no recombinant products from C. reinhardtii have gained approval for commercial production and most of them are still in research and development. In this review, we focus on the chloroplast of C. reinhardtii as an algal recombinant expression platform and compare its advantages and disadvantages to other currently used expression systems. We then discuss the strategies for engineering the chloroplast of C. reinhardtii to produce recombinant cells and present a comprehensive overview of works that have used this platform for the expression of high-value products.

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