Valuable Fatty Acids in Bryophytes-Production, Biosynthesis, Analysis and Applications

Yi Lu, Finnur Freyr Eiriksson, Margrét Thorsteinsdóttir, Henrik Toft Simonsen

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

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Bryophytes (mosses, liverworts and hornworts) often produce high amounts of very long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (vl-PUFAs) including arachidonic acid (AA, 20:4 △5,8,11,14) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5 △5,8,11,14,17). The presence of vl-PUFAs is common for marine organisms such as algae, but rarely found in higher plants. This could indicate that bryophytes did not lose their marine origin completely when they landed into the non-aqueous environment. Vl-PUFA, especially the omega-3 fatty acid EPA, is essential in human diet for its benefits on healthy brain development and inflammation modulation. Recent studies are committed to finding new sources of vl-PUFAs instead of fish and algae oil. In this review, we summarize the fatty acid compositions and contents in the previous studies, as well as the approaches for qualification and quantification. We also conclude different approaches to enhance AA and EPA productions including biotic and abiotic stresses.
Original languageEnglish
Article number524
JournalNature Plants
Issue number11
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Arachidonic acid
  • Bryophytes
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid
  • Environmental stress
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acid


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