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AB 9:107-112 (2010)  -  DOI:

Fatty acid composition of the heterotrophic nanoflagellate Paraphysomonas sp.: influence of diet and de novo biosynthesis

Alexandre Bec1,2,3,*, Dominik Martin-Creuzburg3, Eric Von Elert3,4

1Université Blaise Pascal, Laboratoire ‘Microorganismes: Génome et Environnement’, BP 10448, 63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
2CNRS, UMR 6023, LMGE, 63177 Aubière Cedex, France
3Limnological Institute, University of Konstanz, Mainaustrasse 252, 78464 Konstanz, Germany
4University of Köln, Zoological Institute, Otto-Fischer Str. 6, 50674, Köln, Germany

ABSTRACT: We compared the relative importance of dietary factors versus de novo synthesis in determining the polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) composition of the heterotrophic nanoflagellate Paraphysomonas sp. The flagellate was fed with different mutants of the picocyanobacterial strain Synechocystis PCC6803, which differ in their capability to synthesize specific PUFAs. The desA, desB, and desD genes of Synechocystis PCC6803 encode lipid desaturases at the Δ12, Δ15, and Δ6 positions of 18C fatty acids (FAs), respectively. Thus, the use of desA, desB, desD, and desA/des D mutants of Synechocystis PCC6803 as food sources permitted us to provide the heterotrophic flagellate with decreasing levels of unsaturated FAs. In each treatment, Paraphysomonas sp. exhibited the same FA composition pattern, i.e. high levels of 16:0 and 18:1, and significant amounts of 18C PUFAs and long-chain PUFAs such as 20:4(n-6), 20:5(n-3), and 22:6(n-3), which indicated that Paraphysomonas sp. is capable of synthesizing these PUFAs de novo. Results also showed that dietary 18C PUFAs seem to be preferentially accumulated in Paraphysomonas sp. lipids. This demonstrates that heterotrophic protists could play a key role in transferring essential compounds from primary producers to metazoan consumers.

KEY WORDS: Heterotrophic protist . Fatty acids . Picoplankton . Trophic upgrading

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Cite this article as: Bec A, Martin-Creuzburg D, Von Elert E (2010) Fatty acid composition of the heterotrophic nanoflagellate Paraphysomonas sp.: influence of diet and de novo biosynthesis. Aquat Biol 9:107-112.

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