Low dissolved oxygen supply functions as a global regulator of the growth and metabolism of Aurantiochytrium sp. PKU#Mn16 in the early stages of docosahexaenoic acid fermentation

Microb Cell Fact. 2023 Mar 15;22(1):52. doi: 10.1186/s12934-023-02054-w.


BACKGROUND: Thraustochytrids accumulate lipids with a high content of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Although their growth and DHA content are significantly affected by the dissolved oxygen (DO) supply, the role of DO on the transcriptional regulation of metabolism and accumulation of intracellular metabolites remains poorly understood. Here we investigate the effects of three different DO supply conditions (10%, 30%, and 50%) on the fed-batch culture of the Aurantiochytrium PKU#Mn16 strain to mainly reveal the differential gene expressions and metabolite profiles.

RESULTS: While the supply of 10% DO significantly reduced the rates of biomass and DHA production in the early stages of fermentation, it achieved the highest amounts of biomass (56.7 g/L) and DHA (6.0 g/L) on prolonged fermentation. The transcriptome analyses of the early stage (24 h) of fermentation revealed several genes involved in the central carbon, amino acid, and fatty acid metabolism, which were significantly downregulated at a 10% DO level. The comparative metabolomics results revealed the accumulation of several long-chain fatty acids, amino acids, and other metabolites, supporting the transcriptional regulation under the influence of a low oxygen supply condition. In addition, certain genes involved in antioxidative systems were downregulated under 10% DO level, suggesting a lesser generation of reactive oxygen species that lead to oxidative damage and fatty acid oxidation.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study suggest that despite the slow growth and metabolism in the early stage of fermentation of Aurantiochytrium sp. PKU#Mn16, a constant supply of low dissolved oxygen can yield biomass and DHA content better than that with high oxygen supply conditions. The critical information gained in this study will help to further improve DHA production through bioprocess engineering strategies.

PMID:36918882 | DOI:10.1186/s12934-023-02054-w


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