Enhancing docosahexaenoic acid production in Aurantiochytrium species using atmospheric and room temperature plasma mutagenesis and comprehensive multi-omics analysis

Publication Name

Science of the Total Environment


Aurantiochytrium sp. belongs to marine heterotrophic single-cell protist, which is an important decomposer in marine ecosystem. Aurantiochytrium sp. has gained notoriety because of its ability to accumulate high-value docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), but the key factors of DHA synthesis were unclear at present. In this study, Atmospheric and Room Temperature Plasma technology was applied to the mutagenic breeding of Aurantiochytrium sp., and transcriptomics and proteomics were adopted to analyze the DHA-biosynthesis mechanism. According to the growth and DHA accumulation profiles, the mutant strain Aurantiochytrium sp. R2A35 was selected. The DHA content in total lipids was greatly improved from 49.39 % of the wild strain R2 to 63.69 % of the mutant strain. Moreover, the DHA content in the biomass of Aurantiochytrium sp. R2A35 as 39.72 % was the highest DHA productivity reported so far. The differentially expressed genes distinguished from transcriptome and the TMT-identified differential proteins distinguished from proteome confirmed that the expression of acetyl-CoA carboxylase and ketoacyl reductase was up-regulated by 4.78-fold and 6.95-fold, respectively and the fatty acid synthase was concurrently down-regulated by 2.79-fold, so that more precursor was transported to the polyketide synthase pathway, thereby increasing the DHA yield in Aurantiochytrium sp. R2A35. This research would provide reference for the DHA metabolism process and contribute to the understanding of the decomposer - Aurantiochytrium sp. in marine ecosystems.

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Funding Sponsor

Harbin Institute of Technology



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