Special Issue "Lipids of Marine Algae"

A special issue of Biomolecules (ISSN 2218-273X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 December 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Rosário Domingues
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Guest Editor
Mass Spectrometry Centre and Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies, CESAM, Department of Chemistry, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Interests: mass spectrometry; lipidomics; marine lipidiomics; lipid oxidation; glycomics
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Ricardo Calado
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biology & CESAM & ECOMARE, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Interests: marine fatty acids; marine lipidomics; marine invertebrates; marine macrophytes
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Marine micro- and macroalgae are a well-known source of lipids with high nutritional value and with important bioactive properties, such as omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), glycolipids, and phospholipids. The polar lipidome of marine algae (both micro and macro) is yet to be fully unraveled, although they are unanimously recognized as promising and valuable phytochemicals for a multitude of applications (e.g., food, feed, pharmaceutical, and cosmeceutical industries). Polar lipids are the main carriers of omega-3 fatty acids, namely PUFAs, and have been reported to display anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, and anti-proliferative properties. Lipidomic approaches using mass spectrometry technologies are currently being used in the profiling and identification of these health-promoting biomolecules. Lipid signatures reveal algal adaptations to multiple biotic and abiotic conditions, can support the development of origin certification protocols, and can also be used as reliable proxies for the quality control of raw algae or algal-based products. Overall, the accurate identification of the lipidome of marine algae will enhance the valorisation of these biomolecules and foster innovative algal-based solutions for biotechnological and industrial applications.

Dr. Rosário Domingues
Dr. Ricardo Calado
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • bioactivity
  • lipid signatures
  • lipidome
  • lipidomics
  • polar lipids
  • unsaturated fatty acids

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Identification of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Synthesis Pathways in the Toxic Dinophyte Alexandrium minutum Using 13C-Labelling
Biomolecules 2020, 10(10), 1428; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10101428 - 08 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 758
Abstract
The synthetic pathways responsible for the production of the polyunsaturated fatty acids 22:6n-3 and 20:5n-3 were studied in the Dinophyte Alexandrium minutum. The purpose of this work was to follow the progressive incorporation of an isotopic label (13CO2) [...] Read more.
The synthetic pathways responsible for the production of the polyunsaturated fatty acids 22:6n-3 and 20:5n-3 were studied in the Dinophyte Alexandrium minutum. The purpose of this work was to follow the progressive incorporation of an isotopic label (13CO2) into 11 fatty acids to better understand the fatty acid synthesis pathways in A. minutum. The Dinophyte growth was monitored for 54 h using high-frequency sampling. A. minutum presented a growth in two phases. A lag phase was observed during the first 30 h of development and had been associated with the probable temporary encystment of Dinophyte cells. An exponential growth phase was then observed after t30. A. minutum rapidly incorporated 13C into 22:6n-3, which ended up being the most 13C-enriched polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) in this experiment, with a higher 13C atomic enrichment than 18:4n-3, 18:5n-3, 20:5n-3, and 22:5n-3. Overall, the 13C atomic enrichment (AE) was inversely proportional to number of carbons in n-3 PUFA. C18 PUFAs, 18:4n-3, and 18:5n-3, were indeed among the least 13C-enriched FAs during this experiment. They were assumed to be produced by the n-3 PUFA pathway. However, they could not be further elongated or desaturated to produce n-3 C20-C22 PUFA, because the AEs of the n-3 C18 PUFAs were lower than those of the n-3 C20-C22 PUFAs. Thus, the especially high atomic enrichment of 22:6n-3 (55.8% and 54.9% in neutral lipids (NLs) and polar lipids (PLs), respectively) led us to hypothesize that this major PUFA was synthesized by an O2-independent Polyketide Synthase (PKS) pathway. Another parallel PKS, independent of the one leading to 22:6n-3, was also supposed to produce 20:5n-3. The inverse order of the 13C atomic enrichment for n-3 PUFAs was also suspected to be related to the possible β-oxidation of long-chain n-3 PUFAs occurring during A. minutum encystment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lipids of Marine Algae)
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Open AccessArticle
Isoprostanoid Profiling of Marine Microalgae
Biomolecules 2020, 10(7), 1073; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10071073 - 18 Jul 2020
Viewed by 738
Abstract
Algae result from a complex evolutionary history that shapes their metabolic network. For example, these organisms can synthesize different polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as those found in land plants and oily fish. Due to the presence of numerous double-bonds, such molecules can be [...] Read more.
Algae result from a complex evolutionary history that shapes their metabolic network. For example, these organisms can synthesize different polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as those found in land plants and oily fish. Due to the presence of numerous double-bonds, such molecules can be oxidized nonenzymatically, and this results in the biosynthesis of high-value bioactive metabolites named isoprostanoids. So far, there have been only a few studies reporting isoprostanoid productions in algae. To fill this gap, the current investigation aimed at profiling isoprostanoids by liquid chromatography -mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) in four marine microalgae. A good correlation was observed between the most abundant polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) produced by the investigated microalgal species and their isoprostanoid profiles. No significant variations in the content of oxidized derivatives were observed for Rhodomonas salina and Chaetoceros gracilis under copper stress, whereas increases in the production of C18-, C20- and C22-derived isoprostanoids were monitored in Tisochrysis lutea and Phaeodactylum tricornutum. In the presence of hydrogen peroxide, no significant changes were observed for C. gracilis and for T. lutea, while variations were monitored for the other two algae. This study paves the way to further studying the physiological roles of isoprostanoids in marine microalgae and exploring these organisms as bioresources for isoprostanoid production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lipids of Marine Algae)
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Open AccessArticle
Study of Synthesis Pathways of the Essential Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid 20:5n-3 in the Diatom Chaetoceros Muelleri Using 13C-Isotope Labeling
Biomolecules 2020, 10(5), 797; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10050797 - 21 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 811
Abstract
The present study sought to characterize the synthesis pathways producing the essential polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) 20:5n-3 (EPA). For this, the incorporation of 13C was experimentally monitored into 10 fatty acids (FA) during the growth of the diatom Chaetoceros muelleri for 24 [...] Read more.
The present study sought to characterize the synthesis pathways producing the essential polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) 20:5n-3 (EPA). For this, the incorporation of 13C was experimentally monitored into 10 fatty acids (FA) during the growth of the diatom Chaetoceros muelleri for 24 h. Chaetoceros muelleri preferentially and quickly incorporated 13C into C18 PUFAs such as 18:2n-6 and 18:3n-6 as well as 16:0 and 16:1n-7, which were thus highly 13C-enriched. During the experiment, 20:5n-3 and 16:3n-4 were among the least-enriched fatty acids. The calculation of the enrichment percentage ratio of a fatty acid B over its suspected precursor A allowed us to suggest that the diatom produced 20:5n-3 (EPA) by a combination between the n-3 (via 18:4n-3) and n-6 (via 18:3n-6 and 20:4n-6) synthesis pathways as well as the alternative ω-3 desaturase pathway (via 20:4n-6). In addition, as FA from polar lipids were generally more enriched in 13C than FA from neutral lipids, particularly for 18:1n-9, 18:2n-6 and 18:3n-6, the existence of acyl-editing mechanisms and connectivity between polar and neutral lipid fatty acid pools were also hypothesized. Because 16:3n-4 and 20:5n-3 presented the same concentration and enrichment dynamics, a structural and metabolic link was proposed between these two PUFAs in C. muelleri. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lipids of Marine Algae)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Fatty Acids Profile and Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Production by the Oleaginous Marine Thraustochytrid Aurantiochytrium sp. T66 Cultivated on Volatile Fatty Acids
Biomolecules 2020, 10(5), 694; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10050694 - 29 Apr 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 772
Abstract
Thraustochytrids are considered natural producers of omega-3 fatty acids as they can synthesize up to 70% docosahexaenoic acids (DHA) of total lipids. However, commercial and sustainable production of microbial DHA is limited by elevated cost of carbon substrates for thraustochytrids cultivation. This problem [...] Read more.
Thraustochytrids are considered natural producers of omega-3 fatty acids as they can synthesize up to 70% docosahexaenoic acids (DHA) of total lipids. However, commercial and sustainable production of microbial DHA is limited by elevated cost of carbon substrates for thraustochytrids cultivation. This problem can be addressed by utilizing low-cost renewable substrates. In the present study, growth, lipid accumulation and fatty acid profiles of the marine thraustochytrid Aurantiochytrium sp. T66 (ATCC-PRA-276) cultivated on volatile fatty acids (C1, formic acid; C2, acetic acid; C3, propionic acid; C4, butyric acid; C5, valeric acid and C6, caproic acid) and glucose as control were evaluated for the first time. This strain showed an inability to utilize C3, C5 and C6 as a substrate when provided at >2 g/L, while efficiently utilizing C2 and C4 up to 40 g/L. The highest cell dry weight (12.35 g/L) and total lipid concentration (6.59 g/L) were attained when this strain was cultivated on 40 g/L of butyric acid, followed by cultivation on glucose (11.87 g/L and 5.34 g/L, respectively) and acetic acid (8.70 g/L and 3.43 g/L, respectively). With 40 g/L butyric acid, the maximum docosahexaenoic acid content was 2.81 g/L, corresponding to 42.63% w/w of total lipids and a yield of 0.23 g/gcell dry weight (CDW). This marine oleaginous microorganism showed an elevated potential for polyunsaturated fatty acids production at higher acetic and butyric acid concentrations than previously reported. Moreover, fluorescence microscopy revealed that growth on butyric acid caused cell size to increase to 45 µm, one of the largest values reported for oleaginous microorganisms, as well as the presence of numerous tiny lipid droplets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lipids of Marine Algae)
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Open AccessArticle
Site-Specific Lipidomic Signatures of Sea Lettuce (Ulva spp., Chlorophyta) Hold the Potential to Trace Their Geographic Origin
Biomolecules 2020, 10(3), 489; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10030489 - 23 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1007
Abstract
The wild harvest and aquaculture of Ulva spp. has deserved growing attention in Europe. However, the impact of geographical origin on the biochemical composition of different species and/or strains is yet to be described in detail. Hence, the present study aimed to detect [...] Read more.
The wild harvest and aquaculture of Ulva spp. has deserved growing attention in Europe. However, the impact of geographical origin on the biochemical composition of different species and/or strains is yet to be described in detail. Hence, the present study aimed to detect the variability of the lipidome of different species and/or strains of Ulva originating from different geographic locations. We hypothesized that lipidomic signatures can be used to trace the geographic origin post-harvesting of these valuable green seaweeds. Ulva spp. was sampled from eight distinct ecosystems along the Atlantic Iberian coast and Ulva rigida was sourced from an aquaculture farm operating a land-based integrated production site. Results showed significant differences in the lipidomic profile displayed by Ulva spp. originating from different locations, namely, due to different levels of polyunsaturated betaine lipids and galactolipids; saturated betaine lipids and sulfolipids; and some phospholipid species. Overall, a set of 25 site-specific molecular lipid species provide a unique lipidomic signature for authentication and geographic origin certification of Ulva species. Present findings highlight the potential of lipidome plasticity as a proxy to fight fraudulent practices, but also to ensure quality control and prospect biomass for target bioactive compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lipids of Marine Algae)
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Open AccessArticle
The Unique Lipidomic Signatures of Saccharina latissima Can Be Used to Pinpoint Their Geographic Origin
Biomolecules 2020, 10(1), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10010107 - 08 Jan 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1017
Abstract
The aquaculture of macroalgae for human consumption and other high-end applications is experiencing unprecedented development in European countries, with the brown algae Saccharina latissima being the flag species. However, environmental conditions in open sea culture sites are often unique, which may impact the [...] Read more.
The aquaculture of macroalgae for human consumption and other high-end applications is experiencing unprecedented development in European countries, with the brown algae Saccharina latissima being the flag species. However, environmental conditions in open sea culture sites are often unique, which may impact the biochemical composition of cultured macroalgae. The present study compared the elemental compositions (CHNS), fatty acid profiles, and lipidomes of S. latissima originating from three distinct locations (France, Norway, and the United Kingdom). Significant differences were found in the elemental composition, with Norwegian samples displaying twice the lipid content of the others, and significantly less protein (2.6%, while French and UK samples contained 6.3% and 9.1%, respectively). The fatty acid profiles also differed considerably, with UK samples displaying a lower content of n-3 fatty acids (21.6%), resulting in a higher n-6/n-3 ratio. Regarding the lipidomic profile, samples from France were enriched in lyso lipids, while those from Norway displayed a particular signature of phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylinositol, and phosphatidylcholine. Samples from the UK featured higher levels of phosphatidylethanolamine and, in general, a lower content of galactolipids. These differences highlight the influence of site-specific environmental conditions in the shaping of macroalgae biochemical phenotypes and nutritional value. It is also important to highlight that differences recorded in the lipidome of S. latissima make it possible to pinpoint specific lipid species that are likely to represent origin biomarkers. This finding is relevant for future applications in the field of geographic origin traceability and food control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lipids of Marine Algae)
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Review

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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Algae: Critical Sources of Very Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 708; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110708 - 06 Nov 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1463
Abstract
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are divided into n-3 and n-6 classes, are essential for good health in humans and many animals. They are metabolised to lipid mediators, such as eicosanoids, resolvins and protectins. Increasing interest has been paid to the 20 or [...] Read more.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are divided into n-3 and n-6 classes, are essential for good health in humans and many animals. They are metabolised to lipid mediators, such as eicosanoids, resolvins and protectins. Increasing interest has been paid to the 20 or 22 carbon very long chain PUFAs, since these compounds can be used to form lipid mediators and, thus, avoid inefficient formation of dietary plant PUFAs. The ultimate sources of very long chain PUFAs are algae, which are consumed by fish and then by humans. In this review, I describe the biosynthesis of very long chain PUFAs by algae and how this synthesis can be manipulated for commercial purposes. Ultimately, the production of algal oils is critical for ecosystems worldwide, as well as for human dietary lipids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lipids of Marine Algae)
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