Fatty acid profiling and molecular characterization of some freshwater microalgae from India with potential for biodiesel production
We determined the fatty acid compositions of six species of freshwater microalgae belonging to the Chlorophyta, which were isolated from freshwater bodies in Assam, India. All six microalgae – Desmodesmus sp. DRLMA7, Desmodesmus elegans DRLMA13, Scenedesmus sp. DRLMA5, Scenedesmus sp. DRLMA9 Chlorella sp. DRLMA3 and Chlorococcum macrostigmatum DRLMA12-showed similar fatty acid profiles 16:0, 16:4, 18:1, 18:2, and 18:3 as major components. We also compared fatty acid compositions during the late exponential and stationary growth phases of D. elegans DRLMA13 and Scenedesmus sp. DRLMA9 in BG11 medium. We observed enhanced percentages of total saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids with a concomitant decrease in polyunsaturated fatty acid content upon the prolonged cultivation of both microalgae. Distinct morphological features of microalgal isolates were determined by scanning electron microscopic (SEM) studies. An ornamented cell wall was found in D. elegans DRLMA13, which is characteristic of small spineless species of Desmodesmus. The isolated microalgae were further distinguished through analysis of internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) secondary structures and compensatory base changes (CBCs). Analysis of CBCs showed the relatedness of Chlorella sp. DRLMA3 with other Chlorella-like organisms, but it does not belong to the clade comprising Chlorella sensu stricto, which includes Chlorella vulgaris. The CBC count between Scenedesmus sp. DRLMA9 and other species of Scenedesmus provides evidence that this isolate represents a new species.
► We isolated six different species of freshwater microalgae and studied their fatty acid compositions. ► We compared the changes in fatty acid composition during exponential and stationary phase in two microalgal species. ► Prolonged cultivation of microalgae increase total saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. ► Palmitic, oleic, linoleic and linolenic acids are the major fatty acids synthesized by the six freshwater microalgae studied. ► Compensatory base changes in the secondary structures of the rDNA-ITS2 are compared to understand their phylogenetic relationships.
Journal: New Biotechnology - Volume 29, Issue 3, 15 February 2012, Pages 332–344