Overexpression of malic enzyme isoform 2 in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii PTS42 increases lipid production

Jongrae Kim, Ho Seok Kwak, Sang Jun Sim, Eon Seon Jin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Genetic modification of microalgae has been performing to overcome the economic and technical difficulties associated with biodiesel production. In this study, to explore a new approach to exploiting a metabolic pathway for effective lipid production, we engineered Chlamydomonas reinhardtii PTS42 to overexpress malic enzyme isoform 2 (ME2) which catalyzes the conversion of malate to pyruvate. Overexpression of ME2 resulted in increase of mRNA level (around 2–3 fold) and increase of the pyruvate content (42.4% and 44.8% respectively) in transgenic M16 and M17, respectively. The fatty acid content and the lipid content of M17 were increased by 23.4 and 19.9% respectively compared to parental lines under the nitrogen deprivation condition. However, no significant changes in fatty acids composition was observed in transgenic lines. These results demonstrate that ME2 overexpression enhances the availability of pyruvate for fatty acid biosynthesis and lipid production in C. reinhardtii.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100239
JournalBioresource Technology Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sept


  • Fatty acid
  • Genetic modification
  • Malic enzyme
  • Microalgae
  • Pyruvate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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