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Metabolomics analysis of photosynthetic response of microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to nitrogen deprivation

Grant number: 18/14042-0
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2018
Effective date (End): June 30, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Molecular Biology
Principal researcher:Flavia Vischi Winck
Grantee:Lais Albuquerque Giraldi
Supervisor abroad: Camila Caldana
Home Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Max Planck Society, Potsdam, Germany  
Associated to the scholarship:16/19152-3 - Identification of regulatory networks related to lipid accumulation in the microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, BP.DR


Microalgae have high potential as a feedstock for production of biofuels and chemicals. It stands out for the high capacity of lipid biosynthesis, mainly triacylglycerols (TAGs). However, it is not a commercially feasible option yet, due to the inversely correlation of high lipid concentrations and high biomass productivity in most microalgae species. To the increase of TAGs production, previous studies used overexpression and/or inactivation approaches of specific genes found in biochemical pathways of lipids and starch biosynthesis, however they did not achieve the expected success and it did not contribute to the development of fully environmental sustainable applications, as their studies used mixotrophic growth as basic environmental condition for biomass production. Considering photoautotrophic growth conditions more environmentally sustainable and the lack of information about the dynamic responses of biochemical reactions which leads to TAG accumulation, the present proposal aims to identify the metabolomics response of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to Nitrogen (N) starvation, under photoautotrophic conditions. We specifically propose to conduct metabolomics analysis, aiming to detect different classes of lipids, primary and secondary metabolites in a time-course experiments of cells under photoautotrophic conditions in response to N starvation. We expect to recognize metabolites that can be involved in the translation and regulation of N-deprivation stimulus into increased lipid synthesis in cells and verify which and when lipid biosynthetic pathways are initially activated. In addition, the metabolome results will be integrated to other "omics" results already generated in our group and other omics that are being generated, such as proteomics and transcriptomics data in order to identify and integrate the biological multi-level networks that regulate lipid biosynthesis.

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