By expressing a gene in large amounts in a cell or, conversely, by suppressing its expression, we can learn about the function of that gene. We have been working on the development of gene transfer technology, a fundamental technology essential for these analytical methods.
There are several methods of gene transfer, but because seaweeds have cell walls, the methods used in animals cannot be used. Therefore, we used the gene gun method, in which the DNA (gene) to be introduced is attached to fine gold particles, and the DNA and the metal particles are directly introduced into the cells by gas pressure. We succeeded in introducing the DNA into the cells of Neopyropia yezoensis, which is the raw material for nori.