Examination of Triacylglycerol Biosynthetic Pathways via De Novo Transcriptomic and Proteomic Analyses in an Unsequenced Microalga
NATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY LAB GOLDEN CO
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Biofuels derived from algal lipids represent an opportunity to dramatically impact the global energy demand for transportation fuels. Systems biology analyses of oleaginous algae could greatly accelerate the commercialization of algalderived biofuels by elucidating the key components involved in lipid productivity and leading to the initiation of hypothesis-driven strain-improvement strategies. However, higher-level systems biology analyses, such as transcriptomics and proteomics, are highly dependent upon available genomic sequence data, and the lack of these data has hindered the pursuit of such analyses for many oleaginous microalgae. In order to examine the triacylglycerol biosynthetic pathway in the unsequenced oleaginous microalga, Chlorella vulgaris, we have established a strategy with which to bypass the necessity for genomic sequence information by using the transcriptome as a guide. Our results indicate an upregulation of both fatty acid and triacylglycerol biosynthetic machinery under oil-accumulating conditions, and demonstrate the utility of a de novo assembled transcriptome as a search model for proteomic analysis of an unsequenced microalga.