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Plant Physiol. Jul 1990; 93(3): 851–856.
PMCID: PMC1062600

Effects of CO2 Concentration during Growth on Fatty Acid Composition in Microalgae 1


The degree of unsaturation of fatty acids was higher in Chlorella vulgaris 11h cells grown with air (low-CO2 cells) than in the cells grown with air enriched with 2% CO2 (high-CO2 cells). The change in the ratio of linoleic acid to α-linolenic acid was particularly significant. This change of the ratio was observed in four major lipids (monogalactosyldiacylglycerol, digalactosyldiacylglycerol, phosphatidylcholine, and phosphatidylethanolamine). The relative contents of lipid classes were essentially the same both in high-CO2 and low-CO2 cells. After high-CO2 cells were transferred to low CO2 condition, total amount of fatty acids remained constant but the relative content of α-linolenic acid increased during a 6-hour lag phase in growth with concomitant decreases in linoleic and oleic acids. When low-CO2 cells were transferred to high CO2 condition, total amount of fatty acids and relative content of oleic acid increased significantly. The amount of α-linolenic acid remained almost constant, while the amounts of palmitic, oleic, and linoleic acids increased. Similar, but smaller, changes in fatty acid compositions were observed in two species of green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Dunaliella tertiolecta. However, no difference was found in Euglena gracilis, Porphyridium cruentum, Anabaena variabilis, and Anacystis nidulans.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • BLIGH EG, DYER WJ. A rapid method of total lipid extraction and purification. Can J Biochem Physiol. 1959 Aug;37(8):911–917. [PubMed]
  • Dickson LG, Galloway RA, Patterson GW. Environmentally-induced changes in the Fatty acids of chlorella. Plant Physiol. 1969 Oct;44(10):1413–1416. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Mitz MA. CO2 biodynamics: a new concept of cellular control. J Theor Biol. 1979 Oct 22;80(4):537–551. [PubMed]
  • Sueoka N, Chiang KS, Kates JR. Deoxyribonucleic acid replication in meiosis of Chlamydomonas reinhardi. I. Isotopic transfer experiments with a strain producing eight zoospores. J Mol Biol. 1967 Apr 14;25(1):47–66. [PubMed]

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