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Metolachlor-mediated selection of a microalgal strain producing novel polyunsaturated fatty acids
Robert, S.S.; Mansour, M.P.; Blackburn, S.I. (2007). Metolachlor-mediated selection of a microalgal strain producing novel polyunsaturated fatty acids. Mar. Biotechnol. 9(2): 146-153.
In: Marine Biotechnology. Springer-Verlag: New York. ISSN 1436-2228, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

    Herbicides; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Robert, S.S.
  • Mansour, M.P.
  • Blackburn, S.I.

    Long-chain (≥ C20) polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid, are nutritionally important and provide protection against cardiovascular disease, stroke, and cancer. Structural variants of these compounds may have the potential to be used as pharmaceuticals. Marine microalgae are the key producers of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in the global food web. Assuming vast biological and biochemical diversity, we devised a screen to identify microalgae that produce novel fatty acids. The herbicide metolachlor, an inhibitor of long-chain fatty acid biosynthesis, was used in microcosms containing field-collected microalgae to identify naturally resistant strains. We show that one diatom, Melosira cf. moniliformis, is naturally resistant to concentrations of metolachlor, which were cytostatic or lethal to all the other microalgae. Gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry revealed three fatty acids that have not previously been described-18:4 (Δ5,8,11,14), 18:4 (Δ5,9,12,15), and 18:5 (Δ5,8,11,14,17). We propose that this type of screen may be generally applicable to the search of novel compounds produced by marine microorganisms.

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