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Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.00235

Robust Microplate-based Methods for Culturing and in vivo Phenotypic Screening of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

Timothy C. Haire1,  Cody Bell1 and  Andrew G. Palmer1*
  • 1Biological Sciences, Florida Institute of Technology, United States

Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (Cr), a unicellular algae, is routinely utilized to study photosynthetic biochemistry, ciliary motility, and cellular reproduction. Its minimal culture requirements, unicellular morphology, and ease of transformation have made it a popular model system. Despite its relatively slow doubling time, compared with many bacteria, it is an ideal eukaryotic system for microplate-based studies utilizing either, or both, absorbance as well as fluorescence assays. Such microplate assays are powerful tools for researchers in the areas of toxicology, pharmacology, chemical genetics, biotechnology, and more. However, while microplate-based assays are valuable tools for screening biological systems, these methodologies can significantly alter the conditions in which the organisms are cultured and their subsequent physiology or morphology. Herein we describe a novel method for the microplate culture and in vivo phenotypic analysis of growth, viability, and photosynthetic pigments of C. reinhardtii. We evaluated the utility of our assay by screening silver nanoparticles for their effects on growth and viability. These methods are amenable to a wide assortment of studies and present a significant advancement in the methodologies available for research involving this model organism.

Keywords: Culture of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, in vivo photosynthetic assays, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii viability, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii microplate-based culture, photosynthetic pigment analysis, high-throughput screening of Chlamydomonas, Silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs)

Received: 06 Jun 2017; Accepted: 09 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Roger Deal, Emory University, United States

Reviewed by:

Julia C. Meitz-Hopkins, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Mautusi Mitra, University of West Georgia, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Haire, Bell and Palmer. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Andrew G. Palmer, Florida Institute of Technology, Biological Sciences, 150 West University Blvd, Melbourne, 32901, FL, United States,