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Lipid droplets mediate salt stress tolerance in Parachlorella kessleri

July 30, 2019      Author:

Recently, Plant Physiology published on-line the latest research of Prof. Miao's team about lipid droplets mediate salt stress tolerance in Parachlorella kessleri, which will be desired for decreasing the cost of biodiesel production from microalgae.

In general, salt stress results in ionic imbalances, osmotic stress, and oxidative damage. To survive under these conditions, microalgae respond and adapt with complex mechanisms including exclusion of harmful ions via a variety of transport systems, accumulation of compatible solutes, and synthesis of antioxidants and antioxidant enzymes responsible for reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging. The ‘-omics’ approaches have revealed that the salinity stress response is comprehensive and involves global metabolic changes.

In the alga Parachlorella kessleri grown under salt-stress conditions, significant increases in cell size and lipid droplets (LDs) content were observed. By using RNA-seq, proteome of salt-induced LDs, lipidome, flow cytometry, and transmission electron microscopy, it was found that LDs play important roles in defending against salt stress, through harboring proteins, participating in cytoplasmic component recycling, and providing materials and enzymes for membrane modification and expansion. Further research suggested that enhanced DNA content in salt-exposed cells may cause an increase in LD content, thereby contributing to salinity-tolerance. This research broadens our understanding of salt stress mechanism. Salt-induced DNA content enhancement could contribute to neutral lipid accumulation without sacrificing biomass. In addition, the increased cell size contributed to settlement harvesting and oil extraction from wet microalgae. This work demonstrated that salt-induced increase in cell size and DNA content was an effective strategy for the enhancement of oil production, microalgae harvesting and oil extraction, which is benefit for biodiesel production.

Abstract: http://www.plantphysiol.org/cgi/content/abstract/pp.19.00666?ijkey=aCOsL7eKXAm3o&keytype=ref&siteid=plant