Potential use of substituted pyridazinones for selecting polyunsaturated fatty acid overproducing cell lines of algae

Zvi Cohen, Helen A. Norman, Yair M. Heimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The effects of the herbicides SAN 9785 and norflurazon on growth and fatty acid composition of the cyanobacterium Spirulina platensis, the marine microalga Porphyridium cruentum and the freshwater alga Monodus subterraneus were studied. Norflurazon was more effective than SAN 9785 in causing growth inhibition of S. platensis cultures; changes in fatty acid composition confirmed that this compound is a potent inhibitor of Δ6-desaturation. SAN 9785 inhibited the growth of S. platensis concomitantly causing a reduction in the amount of the fatty acids 18:3ω6 and 18:2ω6 and an increase in 18:1 and 18:0, thus indicating an inhibitory effect of this herbicide on the Δ6-desaturation system. Similar growth inhibition was observed in P. cruentum. In this alga, the herbicide also inhibited the formation of 20:5ω3, apparently by blocking the desaturation of 18:2 to 18:3ω3 in one pathway of eicosapentaenoic acid biosynthesis. However, in M. subterraneus SAN 9785 reduced growth, but caused an increase in the proportion of 20:5ω3 indicating a possilbe alternative pathway for the formation of 20:5ω3 in this alga. SAN 9785 was therefore considered to be useful for the selection of cell lines which overproduce the valuable fatty acids 18:3ω6 and 20:5ω3 in S. platensis and P. cruentum, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-264
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - 20 Jan 1993


  • Monodus subterraneus
  • Porphyridium cruentum
  • SAN 9785
  • Spirulina platensis
  • algae
  • eicosapentaenoic acid
  • fatty acid overproduction
  • herbicides
  • norflurazon.
  • γ-linolenic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture


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