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Autotrophic and Heterotrophic Growth Conditions Modify Biomolecole Production in the Microalga Galdieria sulphuraria (Cyanidiophyceae, Rhodophyta)

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Department of Agricultural Science, University of Naples Federico II, Via Università, Portici, Naples, Italy
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Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II, Via D. Montesano, Naples, Italy
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Department of Science and Technologies (DST), University of Sannio, 82100 Benevento, Italy
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Institute of Food Sciences, National Research Council (ISA-CNR), Via Roma 64, 83100 Avellino, Italy
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Department of Biology, University of Naples Federico II, Via Cinthia, Naples, Italy
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Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, University of Naples Federico II, Via Federico Delpino, Naples, Italy
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IPSP-CNR‐Via Università‐Portici, Naples, Italy
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Mar. Drugs 2020, 18(3), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/md18030169
Received: 26 February 2020 / Revised: 10 March 2020 / Accepted: 17 March 2020 / Published: 18 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolomic Approach to Investigate Marine Fungi for Drug Discovery)
Algae have multiple similarities with fungi, with both belonging to the Thallophyte, a polyphyletic group of non-mobile organisms grouped together on the basis of similar characteristics, but not sharing a common ancestor. The main difference between algae and fungi is noted in their metabolism. In fact, although algae have chlorophyll-bearing thalloids and are autotrophic organisms, fungi lack chlorophyll and are heterotrophic, not able to synthesize their own nutrients. However, our studies have shown that the extremophilic microalga Galderia sulphuraria (GS) can also grow very well in heterotrophic conditions like fungi. This study was carried out using several approaches such as scanning electron microscope (SEM), gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS), and infrared spectrophotometry (ATR-FTIR). Results showed that the GS, strain ACUF 064, cultured in autotrophic (AGS) and heterotrophic (HGS) conditions, produced different biomolecules. In particular, when grown in HGS, the algae (i) was 30% larger, with an increase in carbon mass that was 20% greater than AGS; (ii) produced higher quantities of stearic acid, oleic acid, monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), and ergosterol; (iii) produced lower quantities of fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) such as methyl palmytate, and methyl linoleate, saturated fatty acids (SFAs), and poyliunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). ATR-FTIR and principal component analysis (PCA) statistical analysis confirmed that the macromolecular content of HGS was significantly different from AGS. The ability to produce different macromolecules by changing the trophic conditions may represent an interesting strategy to induce microalgae to produce different biomolecules that can find applications in several fields such as food, feed, nutraceutical, or energy production. View Full-Text
Keywords: Galdieria sulphuraria; microalga; fungi; autothrophy; heterotrophy; fatty acids; ATR-FTIR Galdieria sulphuraria; microalga; fungi; autothrophy; heterotrophy; fatty acids; ATR-FTIR
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Barone, R.; De Napoli, L.; Mayol, L.; Paolucci, M.; Volpe, M.G.; D’Elia, L.; Pollio, A.; Guida, M.; Gambino, E.; Carraturo, F.; Marra, R.; Vinale, F.; Woo, S.L.; Lorito, M. Autotrophic and Heterotrophic Growth Conditions Modify Biomolecole Production in the Microalga Galdieria sulphuraria (Cyanidiophyceae, Rhodophyta). Mar. Drugs 2020, 18, 169.

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