Expression of type 2 diacylglycerol acyltransferse gene DGTT1 from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii enhances lipid production in Scenedesmus obliquus.

Research paper by Chun-Yen CY Chen, Ai-Ling AL Kao, Zheng-Chia ZC Tsai, Te-Jin TJ Chow, Hsin-Yueh HY Chang, Xin-Qing XQ Zhao, Po-Ting PT Chen, Hsiang-Yen HY Su, Jo-Shu JS Chang

Indexed on: 06 Feb '16Published on: 06 Feb '16Published in: Biotechnology Journal


Microalgal strains of Scenedesmus obliquus have the great potential for the production of biofuels, CO2 fixation, and bioremediation. However, metabolic engineering of S. obliquus to improve their useful phenotypes are still not fully developed. In this study, S. obliquus strain CPC2 was genetically engineered to promote the autotrophic growth and lipid productivity. The overexpression plasmid containing the type 2 diacylglycerol acyltransferse (DGAT) gene DGTT1 from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii was constructed and transformed into S. obliquus CPC2, and the positive transformants were obtained. The expression of DGTT1 gene was confirmed by reverse transcription PCR analysis. Enhanced lipid content of the transformant S. obliquus CPC2-G1 by nearly two-fold was observed. The biomass concentration of the recombinant strains was also 29% higher than that of the wild-type strain. Furthermore, the recombinant strain CPC2-G1 was successfully grown in 40 L tubular type photobioreactor and open pond system in an outdoor environment. The lipid content, biomass concentration, and biomass productivity obtained from 40 L tubular PBR were 127.8% 20.0%, and 232.6% higher than those obtained from the wild-type strain. The major aim of this work is to develop a tool to genetically engineer an isolated S. obliquus strain for the desired purpose. This is the first report that genetic engineering of S. obliquus has been successful employed to improve both the microalgal cell growth and the lipid production.