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Open AccessArticle

Isolation, Characterization and Biotechnological Potentials of Thraustochytrids from Icelandic Waters

School of Business and Science, University of Akureyri, Nordurslóð 2, 600 Akureyri, Iceland
BioPol ltd., Einbúastíg 2, 545 Skagaströnd, Iceland
Icelandic Institute of Natural History, Borgum vid Nordurslóð, 600 Akureyri, Iceland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(8), 449;
Received: 25 June 2019 / Revised: 22 July 2019 / Accepted: 27 July 2019 / Published: 31 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Lipids with Biological Interest)
PDF [11287 KB, uploaded 7 August 2019]


The following study reports on the first thraustochytrid isolates identified from Iceland. They were collected from three different locations off the northern coast of the country (Location A, Skagaströnd; Location B, Hveravík; and Location C, Eyjafjörður). Using 18S rDNA sequence analysis, isolates from Locations A and B were identified within the Thraustochytrium kinnei species while other isolates within the Sicyoidochytrium minutum species when compared to other known strains. Cells isolated from Locations A ( 2.10 ± 0.70 g/L) and B ( 1.54 ± 0.17 g/L) produced more biomass than the ones isolated from Location C ( 0.43 ± 0.02 g/L). This study offers the first-time examination of the utility of byproducts from fisheries as a nitrogen source in media formulation for thraustochytrids. Experiments showed that isolates produced more biomass (per unit of substrate) when cultured on nitrogen of marine ( 2.55 ± 0.74 g/L) as compared to of commercial origin ( 1.06 ± 0.57 g/L). Glycerol ( 2.43 ± 0.56 g/L) was a better carbon source than glucose ( 1.84 ± 0.57 g/L) in growth studies. Fatty acid (FA) profiles showed that the isolates from Location C (S. minutum) had low ratios of monounsaturated ( 4.21 ± 2.96 % ) and omega-6 ( 0.68 ± 0.59 % ) FAs. However, the isolates also had high ratios of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 35.65 ± 1.73 % ) and total omega-3 FAs ( 40.39 ± 2.39 % ), indicating that they could serve as a source of marine oils for human consumption and in aquaculture feeds. The T. kinnei isolates from Location A could be used in biodiesel production due to their high ratios of monounsaturated ( 18.38 ± 6.27 % ) long chain ( 57.43 ± 8.27 % ) FAs. View Full-Text
Keywords: single cell oil; biomass; PUFA; docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); fish byproducts; biodiesel single cell oil; biomass; PUFA; docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); fish byproducts; biodiesel

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Stefánsson, M.Ö.; Baldursson, S.; Magnússon, K.P.; Eyþórsdóttir, A.; Einarsson, H. Isolation, Characterization and Biotechnological Potentials of Thraustochytrids from Icelandic Waters. Mar. Drugs 2019, 17, 449.

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