UCL Division of Biosciences


Purton Lab Algal Biology and Biotechnology



Links are generally to individual journal pages.  If you wish to obtain a PDF copy of a paper that you cannot retrieve online, then contact Saul Purton.

Full list of publications


Larrea-Alvarez M, Purton S (2020). Multigenic engineering of the chloroplast genome in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtiiMicrobiology. (Accessed 6 April 2020). Available from: 


Kiataramgul A, Maeenin S, Purton S, Hirono I, Brocklehurst TW, Unajak S (2020). An oral delivery system for controlling white spot syndrome virus infection in shrimp using transgenic microalgae. Aquaculture. (Accessed 27 January 2020). Available from:  



Nimmo IC, Barbrook AC, Chen JE, Geisler K, Smith AG, Aranda M, Purton S, Waller RF, Nisbet RER, Howe CJ (2019). Genetic transformation of the dinoflagellate chloroplast. eLife 8:e45292. eLife 8:e45292.

Stoffels L, Finlan A, Mannall G, Purton S, Parker B (2019). Downstream processing of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii for recombinant endolysin production. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology 7:383. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology 7:383.

Changko S, Rajakumar PD, Young REB, Purton S (2019). The phosphite oxidoreductase gene, ptxD as a bio-contained chloroplast marker and crop protection tool for algal biotechnology using Chlamydomonas. Applied Microbiology & Biotechnology 104, 675-686.


Lizzul AM, Lekuona-Amundarain A, Purton S, Campos L (2018). Characterization of Chlorella sorokiniana, UTEX 1230. Biology 7(1): 25. Biology 7(1): 25.

Young R, Purton S (2018). CITRIC: cold-inducible translational readthrough in the chloroplast of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii using a novel temperature-sensitive transfer RNA. Microbial Cell Factories 17:186

Esland L, Larrea-Alvarez M, Purton S (2018). Selectable markers and reporter genes for engineering the chloroplast of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Biology 7(4): 46.

Charoonnart P, Purton S, Saksmerprome V (2018). Applications of microalgal biotechnology for disease control in aquaculture. Biology 7(1): 24.

Cherdchukeattisak P, Fraser PD, Purton S, Brocklehurst TW (2018). Detection and enhancement of ketocarotenoid accumulation in the newly isolated sarcinoid green microalga Chlorosarcinopsis PY02. Biology 7(1): 17.

Dyo YM, Purton S (2018). The algal chloroplast as a synthetic biology platform for production of therapeutic proteins. Microbiology 164: 113-121.

Taunt HN, Stoffels L, Purton S (2018). Green biologics: The algal chloroplast as a platform for making biopharmaceuticals. BioEngineered 9: 48-54.


Stoffels L, Taunt HN, Charalambous B, Purton S (2017). Synthesis of antimicrobial bacteriophage proteins against Streptococcus pneumoniae in the chloroplast of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Plant Biotechnology Journal 15: 1130-1140.

Derikvand P, Llewellyn CA, Purton S (2017). Cyanobacterial metabolites as a source of sunscreens and moisturizers: a comparison with current synthetic compounds. European Journal of Phycology 52: 43-56.

Al-Hoqani U, Young R, Purton S (2017). The biotechnological potential of NannochloropsisPerspectives in Phycology 4: 1-15.


Al-Haj L, Lui Y, Abed R, Gomaa M, Purton S (2016). Cyanobacteria as Chassis for Industrial Biotechnology: Progress and Prospects. Life (Basel), 30;6(4). pii: E42.

Spicer A, Purton S (2016) Genetic Engineering of Microalgae: Current Status and Future Prospects. In Microalgal Production for Biomass and High-Value Products (Ed. Slocombe SP & Benemann JR) 139-164

Kazamia E, Helliwell KE, Purton S, Smith AG (2016). How mutualisms arise in phytoplankton communities: building eco-evolutionary principles for aquatic microbes. Ecology Letters 19: 810-822.

Xu Y, Hellier P, Purton S, Baganz F, Ladommatos N (2016). Algal biomass and diesel emulsions: An alternative approach for utilizing the energy content of microalgal biomass in internal combustion engines. Applied Energy 172: 80-95.

Wannathong T, Waterhouse JC, Young REB, Economou CK, Purton S (2016). New tools for chloroplast genetic engineering allow the synthesis of human growth hormone in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtiiApplied Microbiology & Biotechnology 100: 5467-5477

Young REB, Purton S (2016). Codon reassignment to facilitate genetic engineering and biocontainment in the chloroplast of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Plant Biotechnology Journal 14: 1251-1260

Tourasse NJ, Barbi T, Waterhouse JC, Shtaida N, Leu S, Boussiba S, Purton S, Vallon O (2016). The complete sequence of the chloroplast genome of the green microalga Lobosphaera (ParietochlorisincisaMitochondrial DNA 27: 2073-2075 


Gangl D, Zedler JAZ, Rajakumar PD, Ramos Martinez EM, Riseley A, Włodarczyk A, Purton S, Sakuragi Y, Howe CJ, Jensen PE, Robinson C (2015). Biotechnological exploitation of microalgae. Journal of Experimental Botany 66: 6975-6990

Hellier P, Purton S, Ladommatos N (2015).  Molecular structure of photosynthetic microbial biofuels for improved engine combustion and emissions characteristics. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology 3: 49

Gangl D, Zedler JA, Włodarczyk A, Jensen PE, Purton S, Robinson C (2015). Expression and membrane-targeting of an active plant cytochrome P450 in the chloroplast of the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtiiPhytochemistry 110: 22-28

Zedler JAZ, Gangl D, Hamberger B, Purton S, Robinson C (2015). Stable expression of a bifunctional diterpene synthase in the chloroplast of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Journal of Applied Phycology 27: 2271-2277


Vonlanthen S, Dauvillée D, Purton S (2015). Evaluation of novel starch-deficient mutants of Chlorella sorokiniana for hyper-accumulation of lipids. Algal Research 12: 109-118

Helliwell KE, Collins S, Kazamia E, Purton S, Wheeler GL and Smith AG (2015). Fundamental shift in vitamin B12 eco-physiology of a model alga demonstrated by experimental evolution. The ISME Journal 9: 1446-1455

Braun-Galleani S, Baganz F, Purton S (2015). Improving recombinant protein production in the Chlamydomonas reinhardtii chloroplast using vivid Verde Fluorescent Protein as a reporter. Biotechnology Journal 10: 1289-1297



Cazzaniga S, Dall'Osto L, Szaub J, Scibilia L, Ballottari M, Purton S, Bassi R (2014). Domestication of the green alga Chlorella sorokiniana: reduction of antenna size improves light-use efficiency in a photobioreactor. Biotechnology for Biofuels 7:157

Young REB, Purton​ S (2014). Cytosine deaminase as a negative selectable marker for the microalgal chloroplast: a strategy for the isolation of nuclear mutations that affect chloroplast gene expression. The Plant Journal 80: 915-925

Helliwell KE, Scaife MA, Sasso S, Ulian de Araujo AP, Purton S, Smith AG (2014). Unravelling vitamin B12-responsive gene regulation in algae. Plant Physiology 165: 388-397

Economou C, Wannathong T, Szaub J, Purton S (2014). A simple, low cost method for chloroplast transformation of the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. In: Chloroplast Biotechnology (volume editor: Pal Maliga). Methods in Molecular Biology 1132: 401-411

Lizzul AM, Hellier P, Purton S, Baganz F, Ladommatos N, Campos L (2014). Combined remediation and lipid production using Chlorella sorokiniana grown on wastewater and exhaust gases. Bioresource Technology 151: 12-18

Tissot-Lecuelle G, Purton S, Dubald M, Goldschmidt-Clermont MP (2014). Synthesis of Recombinant Products in the Chloroplast. In: Plastid Biology (eds. Theg SM & Wollman F-A). Springer, pp 517-558



Hellier P, Al-Haj L, Talibi M, Purton S, Ladommatos N (2013). Combustion and emissions characterisation of terpenes with a view to their biological production in cyanobacteria. Fuel 111: 670-688

Dyo YM, Vonlanthen SE, Purton S and Zayadan BK (2013). Evaluating new isolates of microalgae from Kazakhstan for biodiesel production. Rus. J. Plant Physiol. 60: 549-554

Purton S, Szaub JB, Wannathong T, Young R and Economou CK (2013). Genetic engineering of algal chloroplasts: progress and prospects. Rus. J. Plant Physiol. 60:491-499

Xu, Y, Purton S and Baganz F (2013). Chitosan flocculation to aid the harvesting of the microalga Chlorella sorokiniana. Bioresource Technol. 129: 296-301

Santabarbara S, Ali K, Economou C, Wannathong T, Zito F, Redding K, Rappaport F and Purton S (2013). The requirement for carotenoids in the assembly and function of the photosynthetic complexes of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Plant Physiol. 161: 535-546


Bassi R, Cardol P, Choquet Y, de Marchin T, Economou C, Franck F, Goldschmidt-Clermont M, Jacobi A, Janssens M, Loizeau K, Mathy G, Plancke C, Posten C, Purton S, Remacle C, Wei L, Wollman F-A (2012). Finding the bottleneck: A research strategy for improved biomass production. In Microalgal Biotechnology: Integration and Economy. (eds. Posten C and Walter C). De Gruyther


Santabarbara S, Kuprov I, Pulektov O, Hore PJ, Casal A, Russell CA, Purton S, Evans MCW (2010). Directionality of electron transfer reactions in Photosystem I of prokaryotes: universality of the bidirectional electron transfer model. J. Phys. Chem. B 114: 15158-15171


Castleman VH, Romio L, Chodhari R, Hirst RA, Castro SCP, Parker KA, Ybot-Gonzalez P, Emes RD, Wilson SW, Weber A, Johnson CA, Herrera RJ, Rutman A, Shoemark A, Bush A, Hogg C, Gardiner RM, Reisch O, Greene NDE, O'Callaghan C, Purton S, Chung EMK & Mitchison HM (2009). Mutations in radial spoke head protein genes RSPH9 and RSPH4A cause primary ciliary dyskinesia with central microtubular pair abnormalities. Am. J. Hum. Genet. 84: 197-209


Loiselay C, Gumpel NJ, Girard-Bascou J, Watson AT, Purton S, Wollman F-A & Choquet Y (2008). Molecular identification and function of cis- and trans-acting determinants for petA transcript stability in Chlamydomonas chloroplasts. Mol. Cell. Biol. 28: 5529-5542


Bishop CL, Ulas S, Baena-Gonzalez E, Aro E-M, Purton S, Nugent JHA & Mäenpää P (2007). The PsbZ subunit of Photosystem II in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 modulates electron flow through the photosynthetic electron transfer chain. Photosynth. Res. 93: 139-147

Cullen M, Ray N, Husain S, Nugent J, Nield J & Purton S (2007). A highly active histidine-tagged Chlamydomonas reinhardtii photosystem II preparation for structural and biophysical analysis. Photochem Photobiol Sci. 6: 1177-1183

Howe CJ & Purton S (2007). The little genome of apicomplexan plastids: its raison d'etre and a possible explanation for the 'delayed death' phenomenon. Protist 158: 121-133

Merchant SS et al. (2007). The Chlamydomonas genome reveals the evolution of key animal and plant functions. Science 318: 245-251

Purton S (2007). Tools and techniques for chloroplast transformation of Chlamydomonas. In: Transgenic Microalgae as Green Cell Factories. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 616: 34-45


Ali K, Santabarbara S, Heathcote P, Evans MCW & Purton S (2006). Bidirectional electron transfer in photosystem I: replacement of the symmetry-breaking tryptophan close to the PsaB-bound phylloquinone (A1B) with a glycine residue alters the redox properties of A1B and blocks forward electron transfer at cryogenic temperatures. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1757: 1623-1633

Barbrook A, Howe CJ & Purton S (2006) Why are plastid genomes retained in non-photosynthetic eukaryotes? Trends Plant Sci. 11: 101-108

Howe CJ, Schlarb-Ridley BG, Wastl J, Purton S & Bendall DS (2006). The novel cytochrome c6 of chloroplasts - a case of evolutionary bricolage? J. Exp. Bot. 57: 13-22

Ral J-P, Colleoni C, Wattebled F, Dauvillée D, Nempont C, Deschamps P, Li Z, Morell MK, Chibbar R, Purton S, d'Hulst C & Ball SG (2006). Circadian clock regulation of starch metabolism establishes GBSSI as a major contributor to amylopectin synthesis in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Plant Physiol. 142: 305-317

Schlarb-Ridley BG, Nimmo RH, Purton S, Howe CJ & Bendall DS (2006). Cytochrome c6A is a funnel for thiol oxidation in the thylakoid lumen. FEBS Lett. 9: 2166-2169