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Short Chain Fatty Acid Biosynthesis in Microalgae Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942

1,2,3 and 1,2,3,*
State Key Laboratory of Microbial Metabolism, School of Life Sciences & Biotechnology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200240, China
Joint International Research Laboratory of Metabolic & Developmental Sciences, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
Biomass Energy Research Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(5), 255;
Received: 19 April 2019 / Accepted: 25 April 2019 / Published: 28 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthetic and Biosynthetic Approaches to Marine Natural Products)
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Short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are valued as a functional material in cosmetics. Cyanobacteria can accumulate SCFAs under some conditions, the related mechanism is unclear. Two potential genes Synpcc7942_0537 (fabB/F) and Synpcc7942_1455 (fabH) in Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942 have homology with fabB/F and fabH encoding β-ketoacyl ACP synthases (I/II/III) in plants. Therefore, effects of culture time and cerulenin on SCFAs accumulation, expression levels and functions of these two potential genes were studied. The results showed Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942 accumulated high SCFAs (C12 + C14) in early growth stage (day 4) and at 7.5g/L cerulenin concentration, reaching to 2.44% and 2.84% of the total fatty acids respectively, where fabB/F expression was down-regulated. Fatty acid composition analysis showed C14 increased by 65.19% and 130% respectively, when fabB/F and fabH were antisense expressed. C14 increased by 10.79% (fab(B/F)) and 6.47% (fabH) under mutation conditions, while C8 increased by six times in fab(B/F) mutant strain. These results suggested fabB/F is involved in fatty acid elongation (C <18) and the elongation of cis-16:1 to cis-18:1 fatty acid in Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942, while fabH was involved in elongation of fatty acid synthesis, which were further confirmed in complementary experiments of E. coli. The research could provide the scientific basis for the breeding of SCFA-rich microalgae species. View Full-Text
Keywords: microalgae; Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942; short chain fatty acids; β-ketoacyl ACP Synthase microalgae; Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942; short chain fatty acids; β-ketoacyl ACP Synthase

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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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Gong, Y.; Miao, X. Short Chain Fatty Acid Biosynthesis in Microalgae Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942. Mar. Drugs 2019, 17, 255.

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