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Fatty acids as chemotaxonomic and ecophysiological traits in green microalgae (desmids, Zygnematophyceae, Streptophyta): A discriminant analysis approach

Journal article
Authors Marija Stamenković
Elin Steinwall
Anders K. Nilsson
Angela Wulff
Published in Phytochemistry
Volume 170
ISSN 0031-9422
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phytochem...
Keywords Biomarker, Chemotaxonomy, Desmids, Discriminant analysis, Ecophysiological trait, Stearidonic acid, Zygnematophyceae
Subject categories Cell Biology, Microbiology, Botany, Evolutionary Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Abstract

© 2019 Elsevier Ltd Desmids (Zygnematophyceae) are a group of poorly studied green microalgae. The aim of the present study was to identify fatty acids (FAs) that could be used as biomarkers in desmids in general, and to determine FAs as traits within different ecophysiological desmid groups. FA profiles of 29 desmid strains were determined and analysed with respect to their geographic origin, trophic preference and age of cultivation. It appeared that merely FAs present in relatively large proportions such as palmitic, linoleic, α-linolenic and hexadecatrienoic acids could be used as biomarkers for reliable categorization of this microalgal group. Linear discriminant analysis applied to three a priori defined groups of desmids, revealed clear strain-specific characteristics regarding FA distribution, influenced by climate and trophic conditions at the source sites as well as by the age of culture and growth phase. Accordingly, when considering FAs for the determination of lower taxonomic ranks we recommend using the term “trait” instead of “biomarker”, as the latter designates unchangeable “fingerprint” of a specific taxon. Furthermore, despite that desmids were regarded as microalgae having stable genomes, long-term cultivation appeared to cause modifications in FA metabolic pathways, evident as a larger proportion of stearidonic acid in desmid strains cultivated over extensive time periods (>35 years).

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