Selection of a DGLA-producing mutant of the microalga Parietochloris incisa: I. Identification of mutation site and expression of VLC-PUFA biosynthesis genes

Umidjon Iskandarov, Inna Khozin-Goldberg, Zvi Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Chemical mutagenesis of the phototrophic green microalga Parietochloris incisa, producing high amounts of arachidonic acid (ARA), resulted in selection of a mutant deficient in ARA and rich in dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (DGLA) and thus Δ5 desaturase defective. The mutagenesis produced a nonsense mutation in the Δ5 desaturase gene, resulting in alteration of the 62nd codon TGG into a stop codon. Thus, the polypeptide encoded by the mutant Δ5 desaturase gene is severely truncated and biochemically inactive, as was confirmed by heterologous expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The mutation did not affect the oleogenic nature of the strain, and the total fatty acid content in the mutant biomass reached 39%, in comparison to 34% in the wild type, after 14 days of nitrogen starvation; biomass yields amounted to 5.1 and 3.6 g/l, respectively. While in the wild type, DGLA and ARA comprised about 1% and 58% of total fatty acids, respectively; the mutation annulled ARA almost totally but increased the DGLA proportion to 32% only with a corresponding increase in the proportion of oleic acid. Consequently, DGLA comprised 12.3% of dry weight, in comparison to 19.4% ARA in the wild type. The expression profiles of the genes coding enzymes involved in VLC-PUFA biosynthesis, Δ12, Δ6, Δ5 desaturases and Δ6 PUFA elongase, during nitrogen starvation, were compared. The transcript levels of all four genes, which were coordinately up-regulated in the wild type, appeared to be drastically reduced in the mutant, indicating their co-regulated transcription.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-256
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Volume90
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2011

Keywords

  • ARA
  • Arachidonic acid
  • DGLA
  • Dihomo-γ- linolenic acid
  • LC-PUFA
  • MNNG mutagenesis
  • Microalgae
  • Parietochloris incisa
  • VLC-PUFA
  • Δ5 Desaturase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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