Nutrient resupplementation arrests bio-oil accumulation in Phaeodactylum tricornutum
Carlson, Ross P.
Cooksey, Keith E.
Peyton, Brent M.
Fields, Matthew W.
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Phaeodactylum tricornutum is a marine diatom in the class Bacillariophyceae and is important ecologically and industrially with regards to ocean primary production and lipid accumulation for biofuel production, respectively. Triacylglyceride (TAG) accumulation has been reported in P. tricornutum under different nutrient stresses, and our results show that lipid accumulation can occur with nitrate or phosphate depletion. However, greater lipid accumulation was observed when both nutrients were depleted as observed using a Nile Red assay and fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) profiles. Nitrate depletion had a greater effect on lipid accumulation than phosphate depletion. Lipid accumulation in P. tricornutum was arrested upon resupplementation with the depleted nutrient. Cells depleted of nitrogen showed a distinct shift from a lipid accumulation mode to cellular growth post-resupplementation with nitrate, as observed through increased cell numbers and consumption of accumulated lipid. Phosphate depletion caused lipid accumulation that was arrested upon phosphate resupplementation. The cessation of lipid accumulation was followed by lipid consumption without an increase in cell numbers. Cells depleted in both nitrate and phosphate displayed cell growth upon the addition of both nitrate and phosphate and had the largest observed lipid consumption upon resupplementation. These results indicate that phosphate resupplementation can shut down lipid accumulation but does not cause cells to shift into cellular growth, unlike nitrate resupplementation. These data suggest that nutrient resupplementation will arrest lipid accumulation and that switching between cellular growth and lipid accumulation can be regulated upon the availability of nitrogen and phosphorus.
Valenzuela, J., R. P. Carlson, R. Gerlach, K. Cooksey, B. M. Peyton, B. Bothner, and M. W. Fields. “Nutrient Resupplementation Arrests Bio-Oil Accumulation in Phaeodactylum Tricornutum.” Applied Microbiology Biotechnology 97, no. 15 (June 15, 2013): 7049–7059. doi:10.1007/s00253-013-5010-y.