Analysing intracellular isoprenoid metabolites in diverse prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbes

Manuel Plan, Mareike Bongers, Sarah Bydder, Michele Fabris, Mark P. Hodson, Erin Kelly, Jens Krömer, Jordi Perez-Gil, Bingyin Peng, Alessandro Satta, Lars C. Schrübbers, Claudia E. Vickers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Isoprenoids, also known as terpenes or terpenoids, are a very large and diverse group of natural compounds. These compounds fulfil a myriad of critical roles in biology as well as having a wide range of industrial uses. Isoprenoids are produced via two chemically distinct metabolic pathways, the mevalonate (MVA) pathway and the methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway. Downstream of these two pathways is the shared prenyl phosphate pathway. Because of their importance in both basic physiology and industrial biotechnology, extraction, identification, and quantification of isoprenoid pathway intermediates is an important protocol. Here we describe methods for extraction and analysis of intracellular metabolites from the MVA, MEP, and prenyl phosphate pathways for five key model microbes: the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the bacterium Escherichia coli, the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum, the green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, and the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. These methods also detect several central carbon intermediates. These protocols will likely work effectively, or be readily adaptable, to a variety of related microorganisms and metabolic pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCarotenoids : Carotenoid and Apocarotenoid Analysis
EditorsEleanore T. Wurtzel
Number of pages50
PublisherAcademic Press
Publication date2022
ISBN (Print)9780323999755
Publication statusPublished - 2022
SeriesMethods in Enzymology


  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
  • Escherichia coli
  • Intracellular metabolites
  • Isoprenoids
  • Methylerythritol phosphate pathway
  • Mevalonate pathway
  • Phaeodactylum tricornutum
  • Prenyl phosphate metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803
  • Terpenoids


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