Towards the Industrial Production of Omega-3 Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids from a Genetically Modified Diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum.

Hamilton, ML, Warwick-Dugdale, J, Terry, A, Allen, MJ, Napier, JA and Sayanova, O 2015 Towards the Industrial Production of Omega-3 Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids from a Genetically Modified Diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum.. PloS one, 10 (12). e0144054.

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The marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum can accumulate up to 30% of the omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LC-PUFA) eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and, as such, is considered a good source for the industrial production of EPA. However, P. tricornutum does not naturally accumulate significant levels of the more valuable omega-3 LC-PUFA docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Previously, we have engineered P. tricornutum to accumulate elevated levels of DHA and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) by overexpressing heterologous genes encoding enzyme activities of the LC-PUFA biosynthetic pathway. Here, the transgenic strain Pt_Elo5 has been investigated for the scalable production of EPA and DHA. Studies have been performed at the laboratory scale on the cultures growing in up to 1 L flasks a 3.5 L bubble column, a 550 L closed photobioreactor and a 1250 L raceway pond with artificial illumination. Detailed studies were carried out on the effect of different media, carbon sources and illumination on omega-3 LC-PUFAs production by transgenic strain Pt_Elo5 and wild type P. tricornutum grown in 3.5 L bubble columns. The highest content of DHA (7.5% of total fatty acids, TFA) in transgenic strain was achieved in cultures grown in seawater salts, Instant Ocean (IO), supplemented with F/2 nutrients (F2N) under continuous light. After identifying the optimal conditions for omega-3 LC-PUFA accumulation in the small-scale experiments we compared EPA and DHA levels of the transgenic strain grown in a larger fence-style tubular photobioreactor and a raceway pond. We observed a significant production of DHA over EPA, generating an EPA/DPA/DHA profile of 8.7%/4.5%/12.3% of TFA in cells grown in a photobioreactor, equivalent to 6.4 μg/mg dry weight DHA in a mid-exponentially growing algal culture. Omega-3 LC-PUFAs production in a raceway pond at ambient temperature but supplemented with artificial illumination (110 μmol photons m-2s-1) on a 16:8h light:dark cycle, in natural seawater and F/2 nutrients was 24.8% EPA and 10.3% DHA. Transgenic strain grown in RP produced the highest levels of EPA (12.8%) incorporated in neutral lipids. However, the highest partitioning of DHA in neutral lipids was observed in cultures grown in PBR (7.1%). Our results clearly demonstrate the potential for the development of the transgenic Pt_Elo5 as a platform for the commercial production of EPA and DHA.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Subjects: Ecology and Environment
Marine Sciences
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Cycling in the Sunlit Ocean (expired)
Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine Biochemistry and Observations
Depositing User: Mike Allen
Date made live: 28 Jan 2016 11:51
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2020 09:57

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