UCL Division of Biosciences


Purton Lab Algal Biology and Biotechnology


Saowalak Changko

Saowalak Changko

PhD student

BSc in Biosciences, University of York

Email: saowalak.changko.16@ucl.ac.uk


Research interests

Developing new tools for terpenoid biosynthesis in the chloroplast of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

The chloroplast of microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is an attractive platform for metabolic engineering. However, the use of this platform requires further advances in the molecular tools to overcome problems such as the low efficiency chloroplast transformation and the limited number of non-antibiotic selectable markers. My projects will focus on development of new tools to enable the chloroplast as a platform for novel terpenoid biosynthesis. The initial works involve three projects as following:

1. Increasing the transformation efficiency by reducing chloroplast DNA copy number and developing an alternative DNA delivery method.

2. Generating a new recipient strain which is a light sensitive photosystem I mutant. This will allow a selection for transformants based on restoration of light tolerance under mixotrophic growth conditions.

3. Developing a new selectable marker based on the expression of the phosphite oxidoreductase gene (ptxD) in the chloroplast, which should allow selection on phosphite-containing medium.