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Omega-3 fatty acids, and specifically docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are important and essential nutrients for human health. Thraustochytrids are recognised as commercial strains for nutraceuticals production, they are group of marine oleaginous microorganisms capable of co-synthesis of DHA and other valuable carotenoids in their cellular compartment. The present study sought to optimize DHA and squalene production by the thraustochytrid Schizochytrium limacinum SR21. The highest biomass yield (0.46 g/gsubstrate) and lipid productivity (0.239 g/gsubstrate) were observed with 60 g/L of glucose, following cultivation in a bioreactor, with the DHA content to be 67.76% w/wtotal lipids. To reduce costs, cheaper feedstocks and simultaneous production of various value-added products for pharmaceutical or energy use should be attempted. To this end, we replaced pure glucose with organosolv-pretreated spruce hydrolysate and assessed the simultaneous production of DHA and squalene from S. limacinum SR21. After the 72 h of cultivation period in bioreactor, the maximum DHA content was observed to 66.72% w/wtotal lipids that was corresponded to 10.15 g/L of DHA concentration. While the highest DHA productivity was 3.38 ± 0.27 g/L/d and squalene reached a total of 933.72 ± 6.53 mg/L (16.34 ± 1.81 mg/gCDW). In summary, we show that the co-production of DHA and squalene makes S. limacinum SR21 appropriate strain for commercial-scale production of nutraceuticals.


Alok Patel, Stephan Liefeldt, Ulrika Rova, Paul Christakopoulos, Leonidas Matsakas. Co-production of DHA and squalene by thraustochytrid from forest biomass. Scientific reports. 2020 Feb 06;10(1):1992

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PMID: 32029800

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