Effect of Overexpression of LPAAT and GPD1 on Lipid Synthesis and Composition in Green Microalga Chlamydomonas Reinhardtii
Biodiesel is an alternative energy source which has attracted increasing attention lately. Although algae-based biodiesel production has many benefits, it is still far from industrial application. Research suggests that improving lipid quality and production through genetic engineering of metabolic pathways will be the most promising way. To enhance lipid content, both lysophosphatidic acyltransferase gene (c-lpaat) and glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase gene (c-gpd1), optimized according to the codon bias of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, were inserted into the genomic DNA of model microalga C. reinhardtii by the glass bead method. Transgenic algae were screened by zeomycin resistance and RT-PCR. The transcription levels of inserted genes and the fatty acid content were significantly increased after intermittent heat shock. Most of all, the transcription levels of c-lpaat and c-gpd1 were increased 5.3 and 8.6 times after triple heat shocks, resulting in an increase of 44.5 and 67.5% lipid content, respectively. Furthermore, the content of long-chain saturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids, especially C18 and C18:1t, notably increased, while unsaturated fatty acids dramatically decreased. The results of this study offer a new strategy combining genetic manipulation and intermittent heat shock to enhance lipid production, especially the production of long-chain saturated fatty acids, using C. reinhardtii.