A review of diatom lipid droplets

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The dynamic nutrient availability and photon flux density of diatom habitats necessitate buffering capabilities in order to maintain metabolic homeostasis. This is accomplished by the biosynthesis and turnover of storage lipids, which are sequestered in lipid droplets (LDs). LDs are an organelle conserved among eukaryotes, composed of a neutral lipid core surrounded by a polar lipid monolayer. LDs shield the intracellular environment from the accumulation of hydrophobic compounds and function as a carbon and electron sink. These functions are implemented by interconnections with other intracellular systems, including photosynthesis and autophagy. Since diatom lipid production may be a promising objective for biotechnological exploitation, a deeper understanding of LDs may offer targets for metabolic engineering. In this review, we provide an overview of diatom LD biology and biotechnological potential.

Original languageEnglish
Article number38
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2020


  • Diatoms
  • Lipid droplets
  • Triacylglycerols

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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