Microorganisms such as bacteria are often used to produce active medical ingredients. However, they reach their limits, especially when it comes to complex molecules, because they are unable to synthesize them. An alternative is the unicellular green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Researchers at the TU Kaiserslautern, including our PhD student Anna Probst and her PI Michael Schroda (Molecular Biotechnology and Systems Biology), have used it for the first time to produce the complete spike protein of the coronavirus, which docks onto human cells. This was previously impossible. The work demonstrates the role the alga could play in drug production in the future. The study was published in the renowned journal Frontiers in Plant Science. The topic is not directly related to stress, but we find it highly interesting and worth mentioning. Congratulations to Anna and Michael.

Kiefer AM, Niemeyer J, Probst A, Erkel G, Schroda M (2022) Production and secretion of functional SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Front Plant Sci, Sec. Plant Biotechnology, https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2022.988870