2013 Volume 62 Issue 3 Pages 143-151
A heterotrophic microalga, strain SD116, with the ability to produce high concentrations of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, C22:6n-3) was isolated from Shuidong Bay, Guangdong Province, China. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the 18S rDNA of SD116 showed that the strain has a close phylogenetic relationship to Aurantiochytrium species. The highest rates for growth and DHA accumulation for SD116 were obtained in 6.0% glucose, 2.0% yeast extract, and 50% artificial seawater (ASW) at a pH of 7 at 28°C. The maximum total lipid content reached 56.3% of the dry cell weight (DCW), and the maximum DHA content accounted for 50.9% of the total fatty acid (TFA) content. It was further found that urea may be a potential nitrogen source for industrial fermentation because of its cheap price and ability to induce a relatively high biomass and lipid production capacity. Using 5 L fermenters, the DCW, total lipid content, and DHA yield were found to be 70.43 g L–1, 71.09% of the DCW, and 17.42 g L–1 (34.79% of the TFA), respectively. The results show that Aurantiochytrium sp. SD116 is a promising candidate for commercial DHA production and could be useful for the synthesis of biomass-related products.