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Mar. Drugs 2018, 16(8), 272;

Chemical Mutagenesis and Fluorescence-Based High-Throughput Screening for Enhanced Accumulation of Carotenoids in a Model Marine Diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum

Center for Systems Biology and Faculty of Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science, School of Engineering and Natural Sciences, University of Iceland, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Biomedical Center and Department of Anatomy, Faulty of Medicine, University of Iceland, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Iceland, Hagi, Hofsvallagata 53, 107 Reykjavik, Iceland
Division of Science and Math, and Center for Genomics and Systems Biology (CGSB), New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi 129188, UAE
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 July 2018 / Revised: 20 July 2018 / Accepted: 2 August 2018 / Published: 4 August 2018
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Diatoms are a major group of unicellular algae that are rich in lipids and carotenoids. However, sustained research efforts are needed to improve the strain performance for high product yields towards commercialization. In this study, we generated a number of mutants of the model diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum, a cosmopolitan species that has also been found in Nordic region, using the chemical mutagens ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) and N-methyl-N′-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (NTG). We found that both chlorophyll a and neutral lipids had a significant correlation with carotenoid content and these correlations were better during exponential growth than in the stationary growth phase. Then, we studied P. tricornutum common metabolic pathways and analyzed correlated enzymatic reactions between fucoxanthin synthesis and pigmentation or lipid metabolism through a genome-scale metabolic model. The integration of the computational results with liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry data revealed key compounds underlying the correlative metabolic pathways. Approximately 1000 strains were screened using fluorescence-based high-throughput method and five mutants selected had 33% or higher total carotenoids than the wild type, in which four strains remained stable in the long term and the top mutant exhibited an increase of 69.3% in fucoxanthin content compared to the wild type. The platform described in this study may be applied to the screening of other high performing diatom strains for industrial applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: mutagenesis; screening; diatom; EMS; carotenoids; fucoxanthin mutagenesis; screening; diatom; EMS; carotenoids; fucoxanthin

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Yi, Z.; Su, Y.; Xu, M.; Bergmann, A.; Ingthorsson, S.; Rolfsson, O.; Salehi-Ashtiani, K.; Brynjolfsson, S.; Fu, W. Chemical Mutagenesis and Fluorescence-Based High-Throughput Screening for Enhanced Accumulation of Carotenoids in a Model Marine Diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. Mar. Drugs 2018, 16, 272.

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