The group of LIU Tianzhong from CAS Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology (QIBEBT) has investigated yellow-green microalga Tribonema sp., a filamentous oleaginous microalgae, for biodiesel production. It has advantages over other unicellular oily microalgae for cultivation adaptability and easy harvesting due to its filamentous character. Moreover, Tribonema sp. is also capable of using glucose as substrate for rapid heterotrophic growth, providing a way to speed up the production of microalgal lipid.The team constructed a global network model of the central carbon metabolism and lipid biosynthetic pathways and showed thatinsufficient supply of carbon precursors related fatty acid synthesis caused low levels of final lipid accumulation during heterotrophic cultivation. When they supplemented exogenous potassium palmitate, the total lipid content in T. minus grown in heterotrophic culture was dramatically enhanced.

CAS news release, December 21, 2018