Algal and bacterial lipids
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Algal and bacterial lipids


Research Seminar

Tobias Kind

Free to share, copy, remix

by attribution: Tobias Kind (FiehnLab)


CC-by: Tobias Kind (2008)

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Source: Sud M, Fahy E, Cotter D, Brown A, Dennis EA, Glass CK, Merrill AH, Murphy RC, Raetz CRH, Russell DW:

LMSD: LIPID MAPS structure database. Nucleic Acids Research 2007, 35(1):D527-D532. doi:10.1093/nar/gkl838

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Odd and even chained lipids

  • Odd carbon chained alkanes are common in algae an bacteria

  • (examples V. furnissii or B. braunii)

  • Odd carbon chain fatty acids are common in algae and bacteria

  • and odd short chain fatty acids in animals

  • Odd carbon chain fatty acids and alkanes are part of human diet

    via diary products (bacteria in rumen) and fish and plant intake

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Chain length and maximum degree of unsaturation

[28:8(n-3)] FA


octacosaoctaenoic acid

from microalgae


Nine double bonds

in crustacea (not algae)


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Maximum chain lengths

Neutral Lipids: Chain length C40

Glycolipids: Chain length C30−36, C50−58, C74−82

Phospholipids: common up to C40 FA

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Glycosylglicerides in algae



Source: Membrane Lipids in Algae; John L. Harwood; Springer Verlag


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Other lipid classes found in algae





Source: Natural Product Updates (RSC)

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Acyl lipids in algae

DGDG - digalactosyldiacylglycerol

DGTA - diacylglycerylhydroxymethyltrimethylalanine

DGTS - diacylglyceryltrimethylhomoserine

DPG - diphosphatidylglycerol (cardiolipin)

MGDG - monogalactosyldiacylglycerol

SQDG -sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerol

PC - phosphatidylcholine

PE - phosphatidylethanolamine

PG - phosphatidylglycerol

PI - phosphatidylinositol

Source: Membrane Lipids in Algae; John L. Harwood; Springer Verlag

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List of common plant and algal glycosylglycerides

Common SQDG and MGDG and DGDD species in Arabidopsis

Source: Welti, Wang (2004): Lipid species profiling: a high-throughput approach to identify

lipid compositional changes and determine the function of

genes involved in lipid metabolism and signaling

913.6 DGDG (32:1) + Na+

911.6b DGDG (32:2) + Na+

941.6a DGDG (34:1) + Na+

939.6a DGDG (34:2) + Na+

937.6a DGDG (34:3) + Na+

931.6 DGDG (34:6) + Na+

929.6b DGDG (34:7) + Na+

959.6 DGDG (36:6) + Na+

975.6 DGDG (36:6) + K+

957.6 DGDG (36:7) + Na+

756.6a DGTS (34:3) + Na+

734.6a DGTS (34:3) + H+

690.5 DGTS (34:3) - CO2

754.6a DGTS (34:4) + Na+

732.6a DGTS (34:4) + H+

688.5 DGTS (34:4) - CO2

749.5 MGDG (32:2) + Na+

739.5 MGDG (32:5) + Na+

741.5 MGDG (32:6) + Na+

785.5 MGDG (34:6) + K+

769.5 MGDG (34:6) + Na+

797.5 MGDG (36:6) + Na+

813.5 MGDG (36:6) + K+

793.5b MGDG (36:8) + Na+

819.5 MGDG (38:9) + Na+

861.5 SQDG (34:3, sodium salt) + Na+ 839.5 SQDG (34:3, sodium salt) + H+

Common SQDG and MGDG

and DGDD species in algae

Source: Schiller (2007) The lipid composition of the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and the diatom Cyclotella meneghiniana investigated by MALDI-TOF MS and TLC

See also Guschina and Harwood; Lipids: Chemical Diversity

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Fatty acid compositions in algae

Source: LIPIDS FROM THE MARINE ALGA Gracilaria verrucosa; S. V. Khotimchenko

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Lipid compositions in algae

Elsevier: Chemistry and Physics of Lipids 150 (2007) 143–155

VIELER Astrid ; WILHELM Christian ; GOSS Reimund ; SÜSS Rosmarie ; SCHILLER Jürgen ;

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Algae in the dark


Werner Reisser, Springer Verlag

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Hydrocracking of B. Braunii

Source: Hydrocracking of the oils of Botryococcus braunii to transport fuels

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Expect everything!

Little is known about complex fatty acids and lipids/phospholipids in algae and bacteria

Profiling/Fingerprinting of large sample sets is possible with current analytical platforms

Current lipid profiling platforms screen only for common known lipids and lipid classes

Structure ID requires advanced MS and NMR platforms