Fatty acid content and profile of the aerial microalga Coccomyxa sp. isolated from dry environments

Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2014 Nov;174(5):1724-35. doi: 10.1007/s12010-014-1181-y. Epub 2014 Aug 22.


Aerial algae are considered to be highly tolerant of and adaptable to severe conditions including radiation, desiccation, high temperatures, and nutrient deficiency, compared with those from aquatic habitats. There are considerable variations in the fatty acid (FA) composition of aerial microalgae from dry environments. A new species with a high lipid level was found on concrete surfaces and was identified as Coccomyxa sp. KGU-D001 (Trebouxiophyceae). This study characterized its FA content and profile in a bath culture. The alga showed a constant specific growth rate (0.26 day(-1)) ranging in light intensity from 20 to 80 μmol photons m(-2) s(-1). The algal cells started to form oil bodies in the early stationary phase of growth, and oil bodies occupied most of the cells during the late stationary phase when the cells accumulated 27 % total fatty acids (TFA). The process of lipid body formation accumulating large amounts of triacylglycerols (TAG) appeared to be very unusual in response to stress conditions persisting for a relatively long culture time (50 days). This study could indicate that aerial microalgae will be a candidate for biodiesel production when a new cultivation method is developed using extreme stresses such as nutritional deficiency and/or desiccation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Microbiology*
  • Cell Proliferation / physiology
  • Desiccation
  • Droughts
  • Ecosystem
  • Fatty Acids / chemistry*
  • Fatty Acids / isolation & purification
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism*
  • Lipid Metabolism / physiology*
  • Microalgae / isolation & purification*
  • Microalgae / physiology*
  • Stress, Physiological / physiology*


  • Fatty Acids