Metabolomic foundation for differential responses of lipid metabolism to nitrogen and phosphorus deprivation in an arachidonic acid-producing green microalga

The green oleaginous microalga Lobosphaera incisa accumulates storage lipids triacylglycerols (TAG) enriched in the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid arachidonic acid under nitrogen (N) deprivation. In contrast, under phosphorous (P) deprivation, the production of the monounsaturated oleic acid prevails. We compared physiological responses, ultrastructural, and metabolic consequences of L. incisa acclimation to N and P deficiency to provide novel insights into the key determinants of ARA accumulation. Differential responses to nutrient deprivation on growth performance, carbon-to-nitrogen stoichiometry, membrane lipid composition and TAG accumulation were demonstrated. Ultrastructural analyses suggested a dynamic role for vacuoles in sustaining cell homeostasis under conditions of different nutrient availability and their involvement in autophagy in L. incisa. Paralleling ARA-rich TAG accumulation in lipid droplets, N deprivation triggered intensive chloroplast dismantling and promoted catabolic processes. Metabolome analysis revealed depletion of amino acids and pyrimidines, and repression of numerous biosynthetic hubs to favour TAG biosynthesis under N deprivation. Under P deprivation, despite the relatively low growth penalties, the presence of the endogenous P reserves and the characteristic lipid remodelling, metabolic signatures of energy deficiency were revealed. Metabolome adjustments to P deprivation included depletion in ATP and phosphorylated nucleotides, increased levels of TCA-cycle intermediates and osmoprotectants. We conclude that characteristic cellular and metabolome adjustments tailor the adaptive responses of L. incisa to N and P deprivation modulating its LC-PUFA production. © 2019 Elsevier B.V.

Kokabi K.1 , Gorelova O.2 , Ismagulova T.2 , Itkin M.3 , Malitsky S.3 , Boussiba S.1 , Solovchenko A. 2, 4 , Khozin-Goldberg I.1
  • 1 Microalgal Biotechnology Laboratory, The French Associates Institute for Agriculture and Biotechnology of Drylands, The J. Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Sede-Boqer Campus, Midreshet Ben-Gurion, 8499000, Israel
  • 2 Department of Bioengineering, Faculty of Biology, Moscow State University, GSP-1, Moscow, 119234, Russian Federation
  • 3 Metabolic Profiling Unit, Life Science Core Facilities, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
  • 4 Peoples Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University), Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation
Ключевые слова
LC-PUFA; LC–MS; Lobosphaera incisa; Metabolomics; Microalgae; Triacylglycerols
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