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Net gain of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in a lugworm Arenicola marina bioturbated mesocosm

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Peter Olive, Thanya Duangchinda, Elizabeth Ashforth, Emeritus Professor Alan Ward


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A net gain in long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) occurs in Arenicola marina bioturbated mesocosms in the light and dark when brewery yeast is the only food. Fatty acid profiles were determined by GC-MS and quantified for system units. Bacterial fatty acid biosynthesis is indicated by accumulation of the bacterial fatty acids anteiso 14:0, iso 15:0, iso 16:0, anteiso 16:0, iso 17:0, C16:1n-7 and C18:1n-7 (cis-vaccenic acid). De novo production of longer chain PUFA within the worm tissues is implicated by a chain elongation converting linoleic acid (C18:2n-6) to C20:2n-6 and subsequent desaturation, resulting in a gain of arachidonic acid (C20:4n-6) and eicosapentaenoic acid (C20:5n-3) via the intermediary C20:3n-6. To test for the presence of PUFA-synthesising bacteria in system units, 495 cloned 16S rDNA fragments were compared with the databases and degenerate PCR primers were designed for the ketoacyl acyl carrier protein synthase gene highly conserved in the polyketide synthase region of known PUFA-synthesising Gammaproteobacteria. Gammaproteobacteria related to known PUFA producers were not abundant (

Publication metadata

Author(s): Olive PJW, Duangchinda T, Ashforth E, Craig S, Ward AC, Davies SJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Marine Ecology - Progress Series

Year: 2009

Volume: 387

Pages: 223-239

Print publication date: 01/01/2009

ISSN (print): 0171-8630

ISSN (electronic): 1616-1599

Publisher: Inter-Research


DOI: 10.3354/meps08088


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