Thorsmoerkia curvula gen. et spec. nov. (Trebouxiophyceae, Chlorophyta), a semi-terrestrial microalga from Iceland exhibits high levels of unsaturated fatty acids

Cecilia Nicoletti, Lenka Procházková, Linda Nedbalová, Réka Mócsai, Friedrich Altmann, Andreas Holzinger, Daniel Remias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

A terrestrial green alga was isolated at Iceland, and the strain (SAG 2627) was described for its morphology and phylogenetic position and tested for biotechnological capabilities. Cells had a distinctly curved, crescent shape with conical poles and a single parietal chloroplast. Phylogenetic analyses of 18S rDNA and rbcL markers placed the strain into the Trebouxiophyceae (Chlorophyta). The alga turned out to belong to an independent lineage without an obvious sister group within the Trebouxiophyceae. Based on morphological and phylogenetic data, the strain was described as a new genus and species, Thorsmoerkia curvula gen. et sp. nov. Biomass was generated in column reactors and subsequently screened for promising metabolites. Growth was optimized by pH-regulated, episodic CO2 supplement during the logarithmic growth-phase, and half of the biomass was thereafter exposed to nitrogen and phosphate depletion. The biomass yield reached up to 53.5 mg L−1 day−1. Fatty acid (FA) production peaked at 24 mg L−1 day−1 and up to 83% of all FAs were unsaturated. At the end of the log phase, approximately 45% of dry mass were lipids, including eicosapentaenoic acid. Carotenoid production reached up to 2.94 mg L−1 day−1 but it was halted during the stress phase. The N-linked glycans of glycoproteins were assessed to reveal chemotaxonomic patterns. The study demonstrated that new microalgae can be found at Iceland, potentially suitable for applied purposes. The advantage of T. curvula is its robustness and that significant amounts of lipids are already accumulated during log phase, making a subsequent stress exposure dispensable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3671-3682
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Phycology
Volume33
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Biodiversity
  • Iceland
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • Semi-terrestrial algae
  • Taxonomy
  • Trebouxiophyceae

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Thorsmoerkia curvula gen. et spec. nov. (Trebouxiophyceae, Chlorophyta), a semi-terrestrial microalga from Iceland exhibits high levels of unsaturated fatty acids'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this