Special Issue "Marine Fatty Acids-2021"

A special issue of Marine Drugs (ISSN 1660-3397).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 May 2021) | Viewed by 14642

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Andrew P. Desbois
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling, Stirling, Stirlingshire, FK9 4LA, UK
Interests: Discovery and development of antimicrobial compounds
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Óscar Monroig
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Instituto de Acuicultura Torre de la Sal (IATS-CSIC), 12595 Ribera de Cabanes, Spain
Interests: fish nutrition; lipid biochemistry; molecular biology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Fatty acids constitute a large proportion of biological material in marine systems, where they are the key constituents of the lipids that compose cellular membranes and energy reserves. Certain fatty acids, such as the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, are synthesised primarily by marine organisms, although recent insights are continuing to advance in our understanding of fatty acid metabolism. Moreover, fatty acids are known to exert wide-ranging biological activities in marine organisms and their consumers, including varied roles in gene regulation, signalling and defence against microbes, and they themselves can be substrates for the synthesis of bioactive derivatives. These properties of fatty acids and molecules derived thereof may be exploited in the development of new bioactive products and materials, including those for high-value applications. Recently, interest has grown in finding innovative uses for by-products derived from marine systems, as this can reduce waste and enhance the efficient use of resources.

Following the success of Marine Fatty Acids Special Issues of Marine Drugs in 2013 and 2016, researchers and scholars are invited once more to contribute original research reports and reviews for inclusion into this latest Marine Fatty Acids Special Issue of the journal. Accepted manuscripts will be published Open Access.

Dr. Andrew Desbois
Dr. Óscar Monroig
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Marine Drugs is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

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Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Microalgae as Sustainable Bio-Factories of Healthy Lipids: Evaluating Fatty Acid Content and Antioxidant Activity
Mar. Drugs 2021, 19(7), 357; https://doi.org/10.3390/md19070357 - 23 Jun 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3706
Abstract
The demand for sustainable and environmentally friendly food sources and food ingredients is increasing, and microalgae are promoted as a sustainable source of essential and bioactive lipids, with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids (ω-3 FA), comparable to those of fish. However, most [...] Read more.
The demand for sustainable and environmentally friendly food sources and food ingredients is increasing, and microalgae are promoted as a sustainable source of essential and bioactive lipids, with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids (ω-3 FA), comparable to those of fish. However, most FA screening studies on algae are scattered or use different methodologies, preventing a true comparison of its content between microalgae. In this work, we used gas-chromatography mass-spectrometry (GC-MS) to characterize the FA profile of seven different commercial microalgae with biotechnological applications (Chlorella vulgaris, Chlorococcum amblystomatis, Scenedesmus obliquus, Tetraselmis chui, Phaeodactylum tricornutum, Spirulina sp., and Nannochloropsis oceanica). Screening for antioxidant activity was also performed to understand the relationship between FA profile and bioactivity. Microalgae exhibited specific FA profiles with a different composition, namely in the ω-3 FA profile, but with species of the same phylum showing similar tendencies. The different lipid extracts showed similar antioxidant activities, but with a low activity of the extracts of Nannochloropsis oceanica. Overall, this study provides a direct comparison of FA profiles between microalgae species, supporting the role of these species as alternative, sustainable, and healthy sources of essential lipids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Fatty Acids-2021)
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Article
Autotrophic vs. Heterotrophic Cultivation of the Marine Diatom Cyclotella cryptica for EPA Production
Mar. Drugs 2021, 19(7), 355; https://doi.org/10.3390/md19070355 - 23 Jun 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1600
Abstract
Recently, the marketable value of ω-3 fatty acid, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), increased considering their health effects for human consumption. Microalgae are considered a valuable and “green” source of EPA alternative to fish oils, but considerable efforts are necessary for their exploitation at [...] Read more.
Recently, the marketable value of ω-3 fatty acid, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), increased considering their health effects for human consumption. Microalgae are considered a valuable and “green” source of EPA alternative to fish oils, but considerable efforts are necessary for their exploitation at an industrial level. Due to the high operation costs of photoautotrophic microalgae cultivation, heterotrophic growth represents a promising economic solution. Marine diatoms are the major ecological producers of ω-3 fatty acids. Few species of diatoms are capable to grow in the dark using organic carbon sources. The marine diatom Cyclotella cryptica was cultivated for 14 days under photoautotrophic and heterotrophic conditions to define the effects on growth parameters, lipid production, total fatty acids and EPA content. Photoautotrophic conditions led to a total EPA production of 1.6% of dry weight, 12.2 mg L−1 culture and productivity of 0.9 mg L−1 day−1. The heterotrophy cultures reported a total EPA production of 2.7% of dry cell weight, 18 mg L−1 culture, a productivity of 1.3 mg L−1 day−1, which are promising values in the prospective of improving culture parameters for the biotechnological exploitation of dark cultivation. C. cryptica could be a potential candidate for the heterotrophic production of EPA, also considering its robustness, capacity to resist to bacterial contaminations and plasticity of lipid metabolism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Fatty Acids-2021)
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Article
Influence of Dietary Lipids and Environmental Salinity on the n-3 Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Biosynthesis Capacity of the Marine Teleost Solea senegalensis
Mar. Drugs 2021, 19(5), 254; https://doi.org/10.3390/md19050254 - 29 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1781
Abstract
Fish vary in their ability to biosynthesise long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) depending upon the complement and function of key enzymes commonly known as fatty acyl desaturases and elongases. It has been reported in Solea senegalensis the existence of a Δ4 desaturase, enabling [...] Read more.
Fish vary in their ability to biosynthesise long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) depending upon the complement and function of key enzymes commonly known as fatty acyl desaturases and elongases. It has been reported in Solea senegalensis the existence of a Δ4 desaturase, enabling the biosynthesis of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which can be modulated by the diet. The present study aims to evaluate the combined effects of the partial replacement of fish oil (FO) with vegetable oils and reduced environmental salinity in the fatty acid composition of relevant body compartments (muscle, hepatocytes and enterocytes), the enzymatic activity over α-linolenic acid (ALA) to form n-3 LC-PUFA through the incubation of isolated hepatocytes and enterocytes with [1-14C] 18:3 n-3, and the regulation of the S. senegalensis fads2 and elovl5 in the liver and intestine. The presence of radiolabelled products, including 18:4n-3, 20:4n-3 and EPA, provided compelling evidence that a complete pathway enabling the biosynthesis of EPA from ALA, establishing S. senegalensis, has at least one Fads2 with ∆6 activity. Dietary composition prevailed over salinity in regulating the expression of fads2, while salinity did so over dietary composition for elovl5. FO replacement enhanced the proportion of DHA in S. senegalensis muscle and the combination with 20 ppt salinity increased the amount of n-3 LC-PUFA in hepatocytes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Fatty Acids-2021)
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Article
Biosynthesis of Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Marine Gammarids: Molecular Cloning and Functional Characterisation of Three Fatty Acyl Elongases
Mar. Drugs 2021, 19(4), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/md19040226 - 16 Apr 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1864
Abstract
Long-chain (C20–24) polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) are essential nutrients that are mostly produced in marine ecosystems. Previous studies suggested that gammarids have some capacity to endogenously produce LC-PUFAs. This study aimed to investigate the repertoire and functions of elongation of very [...] Read more.
Long-chain (C20–24) polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) are essential nutrients that are mostly produced in marine ecosystems. Previous studies suggested that gammarids have some capacity to endogenously produce LC-PUFAs. This study aimed to investigate the repertoire and functions of elongation of very long-chain fatty acid (Elovl) proteins in gammarids. Our results show that gammarids have, at least, three distinct elovl genes with putative roles in LC-PUFA biosynthesis. Phylogenetics allowed us to classify two elongases as Elovl4 and Elovl6, as they were bona fide orthologues of vertebrate Elovl4 and Elovl6. Moreover, a third elongase was named as “Elovl1/7-like” since it grouped closely to the Elovl1 and Elovl7 found in vertebrates. Molecular analysis of the deduced protein sequences indicated that the gammarid Elovl4 and Elovl1/7-like were indeed polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) elongases, whereas Elovl6 had molecular features typically found in non-PUFA elongases. This was partly confirmed in the functional assays performed on the marine gammarid Echinogammarus marinus Elovl, which showed that both Elovl4 and Elovl1/7-like elongated PUFA substrates ranging from C18 to C22. E. marinus Elovl6 was only able to elongate C18 PUFA substrates, suggesting that this enzyme does not play major roles in the LC-PUFA biosynthesis of gammarids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Fatty Acids-2021)
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Review

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Review
Microalgae n-3 PUFAs Production and Use in Food and Feed Industries
Mar. Drugs 2021, 19(2), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/md19020113 - 18 Feb 2021
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 4675
Abstract
N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs), and especially eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are essential compounds for human health. They have been proven to act positively on a panel of diseases and have interesting anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory or anti-cancer properties. For these [...] Read more.
N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs), and especially eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are essential compounds for human health. They have been proven to act positively on a panel of diseases and have interesting anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory or anti-cancer properties. For these reasons, they are receiving more and more attention in recent years, especially future food or feed development. EPA and DHA come mainly from marine sources like fish or seaweed. Unfortunately, due to global warming, these compounds are becoming scarce for humans because of overfishing and stock reduction. Although increasing in recent years, aquaculture appears insufficient to meet the increasing requirements of these healthy molecules for humans. One alternative resides in the cultivation of microalgae, the initial producers of EPA and DHA. They are also rich in biochemicals with interesting properties. After defining macro and microalgae, this review synthesizes the current knowledge on n-3 PUFAs regarding health benefits and the challenges surrounding their supply within the environmental context. Microalgae n-3 PUFA production is examined and its synthesis pathways are discussed. Finally, the use of EPA and DHA in food and feed is investigated. This work aims to define better the issues surrounding n-3 PUFA production and supply and the potential of microalgae as a sustainable source of compounds to enhance the food and feed of the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Fatty Acids-2021)
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