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Analysis of iron and nitrogen interplay in lipids accumulation in microalgae

Grant number: 17/23674-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2018
Effective date (End): August 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry
Principal Investigator:FLAVIA VISCHI WINCK
Grantee:Delaram Taghavi
Home Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo, SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:16/06601-4 - Integrative systems approach for the study of gene expression regulatory networks related to biomass production in microalgae, AP.BIOEN.JP

Abstract

The contribution of fossil fuels combustion to air pollution and the increase in energy demands are two worldwide concerns. Therefore, the development of alternative sources of energy and chemicals is of upmost importance. Among the many possibilities to tackle such challenges, the use of microalgae biomass appears as a promising path. Microalgae are the natural source of a range of valuable chemicals including carotenoids, vitamins and polysaccharides. Several species possess an outstanding capacity for lipid biosynthesis, such as Triacylglycerides (TAGs), which can be used for sustainable biodiesel production. Among them, the microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, can accumulate large amounts of neutral lipids under nutritional stress conditions. Changes on nitrogen and iron availability have demonstrated to enhance their lipid accumulation. However, the interplay between iron and nitrogen in the multi-combinatorial control of lipids biosynthesis in these cells is not completely understood. This project aims to understand the possible crosstalk and coregulatory mechanisms of iron and nitrogen and the underlying principles that contribute to the high lipids accumulation in microalgae. We envisage to perform a time-resolved multi-omics integrative systems biology approach analyzing the total and regulatory proteome of the cells and the expression profile of transcription factor and transcriptional regulator genes. This integral understanding of the cellular responses may bring the advanced knowledge for microalgae to be used in the future as a commercial lipid feedstock. (AU)