Lipid and DHA-production in Aurantiochytrium sp. – Responses to nitrogen starvation and oxygen limitation revealed by analyses of production kinetics and global transcriptomes
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionScientific Reports. 2019, 9 (19470) 10.1038/s41598-019-55902-4
Thraustochytrids of the genera Schizochytrium and Aurantiochytrium accumulate oils rich in the essential, marine n3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA production in Aurantiochytrium sp T66 was studied with the aim to provide more knowledge about factors that affect the DHA-productivities and the contributions of the two enzyme systems used for fatty acid synthesis in thraustochytrids, fatty acid synthetase (FAS) and PUFA-synthase. Fermentations with nitrogen starvation, which is well-known to initiate lipid accumulation in oleaginous organisms, were compared to fermentations with nitrogen in excess, obtained by oxygen limitation. The specific productivities of fatty acids originating from FAS were considerably higher under nitrogen starvation than with nitrogen in excess, while the specific productivities of DHA were the same at both conditions. Global transcriptome analysis showed significant up-regulation of FAS under N-deficient conditions, while the PUFA-synthase genes were only marginally upregulated. Neither of them was upregulated under O2-limitation where nitrogen was in excess, suggesting that N-starvation mainly affects the FAS and may be less important for the PUFA-synthase. The transcriptome analysis also revealed responses likely to be related to the generation of reducing power (NADPH) for fatty acid synthesis.