Modification of fatty acid composition in halophilic Antarctic microalgae

Xin Qing Xu, John Beardall, Neil D. Hallam

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12 Citations (Scopus)


The major fatty acids in two Dunaliella isolates originating from Antarctic hypersaline lakes were 18:3ω3, 16:0, 16:4ω3. 18:1ω9, 18:22w6, and 16:1ω7. The relative amount of individual fatty acids was modified by partially or fully replacing ionic osmotic pressure (Na+, K+ and Cl-) with molecular osmotic pressure (sorbitol) in the growth medium. The effects of sorbitol on the extent of cellular fatty acid unsaturation differed in the two isolates. The results suggest that the appropriate environment necessary for the growth of these 'halophilic' species is a certain level of osmotic pressure in the medium, but that this can be provided by either ionic or molecular osmotic pressure, or a mixture of both.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1249-1252
Number of pages4
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 1998


  • Antarctica
  • Chlorophyceae
  • Dunaliella
  • Fatty acids
  • Microalga
  • Osmotic pressure
  • Salinity
  • Sorbitol

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