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Mar. Drugs 2014, 12(5), 3025-3045; doi:10.3390/md12053025
Review

Tipping Points in Seaweed Genetic Engineering: Scaling Up Opportunities in the Next Decade

1,*  and 2,*
Received: 8 February 2014; in revised form: 4 April 2014 / Accepted: 25 April 2014 / Published: 22 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and New Perspectives in Marine Biotechnology)
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Abstract: Seaweed genetic engineering is a transgenic expression system with unique features compared with those of heterotrophic prokaryotes and higher plants. This study discusses several newly sequenced seaweed nuclear genomes and the necessity that research on vector design should consider endogenous promoters, codon optimization, and gene copy number. Seaweed viruses and artificial transposons can be applied as transformation methods after acquiring a comprehensive understanding of the mechanism of viral infections in seaweeds and transposon patterns in seaweed genomes. After cultivating transgenic algal cells and tissues in a photobioreactor, a biosafety assessment of genetically modified (GM) seaweeds must be conducted before open-sea application. We propose a set of programs for the evaluation of gene flow from GM seaweeds to local/geographical environments. The effective implementation of such programs requires fundamentally systematic and interdisciplinary studies on algal physiology and genetics, marine hydrology, reproductive biology, and ecology.
Keywords: seaweed; macroalgae; genetic engineering; GMO; gene flow; bio-safety; marine algae; transgenic algae; expression system seaweed; macroalgae; genetic engineering; GMO; gene flow; bio-safety; marine algae; transgenic algae; expression system
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lin, H.; Qin, S. Tipping Points in Seaweed Genetic Engineering: Scaling Up Opportunities in the Next Decade. Mar. Drugs 2014, 12, 3025-3045.

AMA Style

Lin H, Qin S. Tipping Points in Seaweed Genetic Engineering: Scaling Up Opportunities in the Next Decade. Marine Drugs. 2014; 12(5):3025-3045.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lin, Hanzhi; Qin, Song. 2014. "Tipping Points in Seaweed Genetic Engineering: Scaling Up Opportunities in the Next Decade." Mar. Drugs 12, no. 5: 3025-3045.


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