Enhancing lipid productivity by modulating lipid catabolism using the CRISPR-Cas9 system in Chlamydomonas

Thu Ha Thi Nguyen, Seunghye Park, Jooyeon Jeong, Ye Sol Shin, Sang Jun Sim, Eon Seon Jin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


In response to the energy crisis microalgae are a promising feedstock for biofuel production. The use of metabolic engineering to improve yields of biofuel-related lipid components in microalgae, without affecting cell growth, is now recognized as a promising and more economically feasible approach to develop more sustainable energy sources. For this, we generated Chlamydomonas mutant strains using CRISPR-Cas9 technology to knockout a gene involved in fatty acid (FA) degradation. In the knockout mutant, total lipid accumulated up to 28% of dried biomass, while that of wild-type (WT) was 22%. This increase was also accompanied by a noticeable shift in FA composition with an increase up to 27.2% in the C18:1 proportion. In addition, these mutants showed comparable growth rate to the WT, indicating that inhibiting lipid catabolism through gene editing technology is a promising strategy to develop microalgal strains for biofuel production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2829-2840
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Phycology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature B.V.


  • CRISPR-Cas9 technology
  • Chlorophyta
  • Lipid catabolism
  • Metabolic engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Plant Science


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