Ice recrystallization inhibition mediated by a nuclear-expressed and -secreted recombinant ice-binding protein in the microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

Kyle J. Lauersen, Tara L. Vanderveer, Hanna Berger, Isabell Kaluza, Jan H. Mussgnug, Virginia K. Walker, Olaf Kruse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


A Lolium perenne ice-binding protein (LpIBP) demonstrates superior ice recrystallization inhibition (IRI) activity and has proposed applications in cryopreservation, food texturing, as well as in being a "green" gas hydrate inhibitor. Recombinant production of LpIBP has been previously conducted in bacterial and yeast systems for studies of protein characterization, but large-scale applications have been hitherto limited due to high production costs. In this work, a codon-optimized LpIBP was recombinantly expressed and secreted in a novel one-step vector system from the nuclear genome of the green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Both mixotrophic and photoautotrophic growth regimes supported LpIBP expression, indicating the feasibility of low-cost production using minimal medium, carbon dioxide, and light energy as input. In addition, multiple growth and bioproduct extraction cycles were performed by repetitive batch cultivation trials, demonstrating the potential for semi-continuous production and biomass harvesting. Concentrations of recombinant protein reached in this proof of concept approach were sufficient to demonstrate IRI activity in culture media without additional purification or concentration, with activity further verified by thermal hysteresis and morphology assays. The incorporation of the recombinant LpIBP into a model gas hydrate offers the promise that algal production may eventually find application as a "green" hydrate inhibitor. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number22
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

Cite this