Objective: The heterotrophic marine microalga, Schizochytrium mangrovei PQ6, synthesizes large amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) with possible nutritional applications. We characterized the transcriptome of S. mangrovei PQ6, focusing on lipid metabolism pathways throughout growth.
Result: Cell growth, total lipid, and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3) contents of S. mangrovei PQ6 in 500 ml batch cultures rapidly increased on day 1 in cultivation and reached their maximum levels on day 5. Maximum lipid accumulation in 500 ml batch cultures occurred on day 5, with total lipid and DHA contents reaching 33.2 ± 1.25% of dry cell weight (DCW) and 136 mg/g DCW, respectively. 11,025 unigenes, 28,617 unigenes and 18,480 unigenes from the transcriptomes of samples collected on day 1, 3, and 5 in cultivation were identified, respectively. These unigenes of the three samples were further assembled into 30,782 unigenes with an average size of 673 bp and N50 of 950 bp, and a total of 9,980 unigenes were annotated in public protein databases. 93 unigenes involved in lipid metabolism in which expression patterns corresponded with total lipid and DHA accumulation patterns were identified.
Conclusion: The possible roles of PUFAs pathways, such as those mediated by fatty acid synthase, polyketide synthase, and desaturase/elongase, co-exist in S. mangrovei PQ6.
Keywords: De novo assembly; Docosahexaenoic acid; Lipid biosynthesis; Schizochytrium mangrovei; Transcriptome.