Enhanced pyruvate metabolism in plastids by overexpression of putative plastidial pyruvate transporter in Phaeodactylum tricornutum
Background: The development of microalgal strains for enhanced biomass and biofuel production has received increased attention. Moreover, strain development via metabolic engineering for commercial production is being considered as the most efficient strategy. Pyruvate is an essential metabolite in the cells and plays an essential role in amino acid biosynthesis and de novo fatty acid biosynthesis in plastids. Although pyruvate can be a valuable target for metabolic engineering, its
... have rarely been studied in microalgae. In this study, we aimed to identify the plastidial pyruvate transporter of Phaeodactylum tricornutum and utilize it for strain development.Results: We identified putative pyruvate transporter localized in the plastid membrane of Phaeodactylum tricornutum. Transformants overexpressing the pyruvate transporter were generated to increase the influx of pyruvate into plastids. Overexpression of a plastidial pyruvate transporter in P. tricornutum resulted in enhanced biomass (13.6% to 21.9%), lipid contents (11% to 30%), and growth (3.3% to 8.0%) compared to those of wild type during one-stage cultivation. Conclusion: To regulate the pyruvate influx and its metabolism in plastids, we generated transformants overexpressing the putative plastidial pyruvate transporter in P. tricornutum. They showed that its overexpression for compartmentalizing pyruvate in plastids could be an attractive strategy for the effective production of biomass and lipids with better growth, via enhanced pyruvate metabolism in plastids.