NITROGEN STARVATION INDUCES THE ACCUMULATION OF ARACHIDONIC ACID IN THE FRESHWATER GREEN ALGA PARIETOCHLORIS INCISA (TREBUXIOPHYCEAE)1

Authors

  • Inna Khozin-Goldberg,

    1. The Microalgal Biotechnology Laboratory, Albert Katz Department for Drylands Biotechnologies, Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert
      Research, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Sde-Boker Campus 84990, Israel
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  • Chiara Bigogno,

    1. The Microalgal Biotechnology Laboratory, Albert Katz Department for Drylands Biotechnologies, Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research and Department of Chemistry, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Sde-Boker Campus 84990, Israel
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  • Pushkar Shrestha,

    1. The Microalgal Biotechnology Laboratory, Albert Katz Department for Drylands Biotechnologies, Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Sde-Boker Campus 84990, Israel
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  • Zvi Cohen

    1. The Microalgal Biotechnology Laboratory, Albert Katz Department for Drylands Biotechnologies, Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Sde-Boker Campus 84990, Israel
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  • 1

    Received 30 August 2001. Accepted 29 June 2002.

Abstract

The Chlorophyte Parietochloris incisa comb. nov (Trebuxiophyceae) was found to be the richest plant source of the pharmaceutically valuable long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), arachidonic acid (20:4ω6, AA). Over 90% of total AA are deposited in triacylglycerols (TAG). Under nitrogen starvation, the fatty acid content constituted over 35% of dry weight and the proportion of AA exceeded 60% of total fatty acids. Consequently, we obtained an AA content of over 20%. This is, to the best of our knowledge, the highest reported content of any PUFA in algae. Increasing the biomass concentration resulted in an enhancement of both the proportion of AA and the fatty acid content. We hypothesize that one of the roles of TAG in P. incisa is to serve as a reservoir of AA that can be used for the construction of membranal lipids.

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