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Biosynthesis of long chain alkyl diols and long chain alkenols in Nannochloropsis spp. (Eustigmatophyceae)
Balzano, S.; Villanueva, L.; de Bar, M.; Sahonero Canavesi, D.X.; Yildiz, C.; Engelmann, J.C.; Maréchal, E.; Lupette, J.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Schouten, S. (2019). Biosynthesis of long chain alkyl diols and long chain alkenols in Nannochloropsis spp. (Eustigmatophyceae). Plant Cell Physiol. 60(8): 1666-1682.
In: Plant and cell physiology. Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists: Tokyo. ISSN 0032-0781; e-ISSN 1471-9053, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Balzano, S., more
  • Villanueva, L., more
  • de Bar, M., more
  • Sahonero Canavesi, D., more
  • Yildiz, C.
  • Engelmann, J.C., more
  • Maréchal, E.
  • Lupette, J.
  • Sinninghe Damsté, J.S., more
  • Schouten, S., more

    We investigated potential biosynthetic pathways of long chain alkenols (LCAs), long chain alkyl diols (LCDs), and long chain hydroxy fatty acids (LCHFAs) in Nannochloropsis oceanica and Nannochloropsis gaditana, by combining culturing experiments with genomic and transcriptomic analyses. Incubation of Nannochloropsis spp. in the dark for one week led to significant increases in the cellular concentrations of LCAs and LCDs in both species. Consistently, 13C-labeled substrate experiments confirmed that both LCA and LCD were actively produced in the dark from C14–18 fatty acids by either condensation or elongation/hydroxylation, although no enzymatic evidence was found for the former pathway. Nannochloropsis spp. did, however, contain (1) multiple polyketide synthases (PKSs) including one type (PKS Clade II) that might catalyse incomplete fatty acid elongations leading to the formation of 3-OH-fatty acids, (2) 3-hydroxyacyl dehydratases (HADs), which can possibly form Δ2/Δ3 monounsaturated fatty acids, and (3) fatty acid elongases (FAEs) that could elongate 3-OH-fatty acids and Δ2/Δ3 monounsaturated fatty acids to longer products. The enzymes responsible for reduction of the long chain fatty acids to LCDs and LCAs are, however, unclear. A putative wax ester synthase/acyl coenzyme A (acyl-CoA):diacylglycerol acyltransferase (WS-DGAT) is likely to be involved in the esterification of LCAs and LCDs in the cell wall. Our data thus provide useful insights in predicting the biosynthetic pathways of LCAs and LCDs in phytoplankton suggesting a key role of FAE and PKS enzymes.

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