Indexed on: 31 Jan '15Published on: 31 Jan '15Published in: The Plant cell
Oleaginous photosynthetic organisms such as microalgae are promising sources for biofuel production through the generation of carbon-neutral sustainable energy. However, the metabolic mechanisms driving high-rate lipid production in these oleaginous organisms remain unclear, thus impeding efforts to improve productivity through genetic modifications. We analyzed the genome and transcriptome of the oleaginous diatom Fistulifera solaris JPCC DA0580. Next-generation sequencing technology provided evidence of an allodiploid genome structure, suggesting unorthodox molecular evolutionary and genetic regulatory systems for reinforcing metabolic efficiencies. Although major metabolic pathways were shared with nonoleaginous diatoms, transcriptome analysis revealed unique expression patterns, such as concomitant upregulation of fatty acid/triacylglycerol biosynthesis and fatty acid degradation (β-oxidation) in concert with ATP production. This peculiar pattern of gene expression may account for the simultaneous growth and oil accumulation phenotype and may inspire novel biofuel production technology based on this oleaginous microalga.