Abstract: Accurate characterization of biomass constituents is a crucial aspect of research in the biotechnological application of natural products. Here we report an efficient, fast and reproducible method for the identification and quantitation of fatty acids and complex lipids (triacylglycerols, glycolipids, phospholipids) in microalgae under investigation for the development of functional health products (probiotics, food ingredients, drugs, etc.) or third generation biofuels. The procedure consists of extraction of the biological matrix by modified Folch method and direct analysis of the resulting material by proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR). The protocol uses a reference electronic signal as external standard (ERETIC method) and allows assessment of total lipid content, saturation degree and class distribution in both high throughput screening of algal collection and metabolic analysis during genetic or culturing studies. As proof of concept, the methodology was applied to the analysis of three microalgal species (Thalassiosira weissflogii, Cyclotella cryptica and Nannochloropsis salina) which drastically differ for the qualitative and quantitative composition of their fatty acid-based lipids.
Keywords: microalgae; biofuel; functional products; fatty acid; lipid
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Nuzzo, G.; Gallo, C.; d'Ippolito, G.; Cutignano, A.; Sardo, A.; Fontana, A. Composition and Quantitation of Microalgal Lipids by ERETIC 1H NMR Method. Mar. Drugs 2013, 11, 3742-3753.
Nuzzo G, Gallo C, d'Ippolito G, Cutignano A, Sardo A, Fontana A. Composition and Quantitation of Microalgal Lipids by ERETIC 1H NMR Method. Marine Drugs. 2013; 11(10):3742-3753.
Nuzzo, Genoveffa; Gallo, Carmela; d'Ippolito, Giuliana; Cutignano, Adele; Sardo, Angela; Fontana, Angelo. 2013. "Composition and Quantitation of Microalgal Lipids by ERETIC 1H NMR Method." Mar. Drugs 11, no. 10: 3742-3753.