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Generation of microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii expressing shrimp antiviral dsRNA without supplementation of antibiotics

Charoonnart, Patai, Worakajit, Nichakorn, Zedler, Julie Annemarie Zita, Meetam, Metha, Robinson, Colin, Saksmerprome, Vanvimon (2019) Generation of microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii expressing shrimp antiviral dsRNA without supplementation of antibiotics. Scientific Reports, 9 (1). p. 3164. ISSN 2045-2322. (doi:10.1038/s41598-019-39539-x)

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RNA interference (RNAi) is an efective way of combating shrimp viruses by using sequence-specifc double-stranded (dsRNA) designed to knock down key viral genes. The aim of this study was to use microalgae expressing antiviral dsRNA as a sustainable feed supplement for shrimp ofering viral protection. In this proof of concept, we engineered the chloroplast genome of the green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii for the expression of a dsRNA cassette targeting a shrimp yellow head viral gene. We used a previously described chloroplast transformation approach that allows for the generation of stable, marker-free C. reinhardtii transformants without the supplementation of antibiotics. The generated dsRNA-expressing microalgal strain was then used in a shrimp feeding trial to evaluate the efciency of the algal RNAi-based vaccine against the virus. Shrimps treated with dsRNA-expressed algal cells prior to YHV infection had 50% survival at 8 day-post infection (dpi), whereas 84.1% mortality was observed in control groups exposed to the YHV virus. RT-PCR using viral specifc primers revealed a lower infection rate in dsRNA-expressing algae treated shrimp (55.6±11.1%) compared to control groups (88.9±11.1% and 100.0±0.0%, respectively). Our results are promising for using microalgae as a novel, sustainable alternative as a nutritious, anti-viral protective feedstock in shrimp aquaculture.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1038/s41598-019-39539-x
Divisions: Faculties > Sciences > School of Biosciences
Depositing User: Colin Robinson
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2019 16:20 UTC
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2019 09:30 UTC
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Robinson, Colin:
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