Biotechnology Letters, Vol.39, No.1, 1-11, 2017
Metabolic pathways for lipid synthesis under nitrogen stress in Chlamydomonas and Nannochloropsis
Microalgae are currently being considered as a clean, sustainable and renewable energy source. Enzymes that catalyse the metabolic pathways for biofuel production are specific and require strict regulation and co-ordination. Thorough knowledge of these key enzymes along with their regulatory molecules is essential to enable rational metabolic engineering, to drive the metabolic flux towards the desired metabolites of importance. This paper reviews two key enzymes that play their role in production of bio-oil: DGAT (acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase) and PDAT (phospholipid:diacylglycerol acyltransferase). It also deals with the transcription factors that control the enzymes while cell undergoes a metabolic shift under stress. The paper also discusses the association of other enzymes and pathways that provide substrates and precursors for oil accumulation. Finally a futuristic solution has been proposed about a synthetic algal cell platform that would be committed towards biofuel synthesis.