Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are important components of infant and adult nutrition because they serve as structural elements of cell membranes. Fatty acid desaturases are responsible for the insertion of double bonds into pre-formed fatty acid chains in reactions that require oxygen and reducing equivalents. In this study, the genome-wide characterization of the fatty acid desaturases from seven eukaryotic photosynthetic microalgae was undertaken according to the conserved histidine-rich motifs and phylogenetic profiles. Analysis of these genomes provided insight into the origin and evolution of the pathway of fatty acid biosynthesis in eukaryotic plants. In addition, the candidate enzyme from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii with the highest similarity to the microsomal Delta 12 desaturase of Chlorella vulgaris was isolated, and its function was verified by heterologous expression in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae).
- Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
- Eukaryotic photosynthetic microalgae
- Fatty acid desaturase