Unravelling the Lipids Content and the Fatty Acid Profiles of Eight Recently Described Halophytophthora Species and H. avicennae from the South Coast of Portugal
In this study, mycelia of eight recently described species of Halophytophthora and H. avicennae collected in Southern Portugal were analysed for lipids and fatty acids (FA) content to evaluate their possible use as alternative sources of FAs and understand how each species FAs profile relates to their phylogenetic position. All species had a low lipid percentage (0.06% in H. avicennae to 0.28% in H. frigida ). Subclade 6b species contained more lipids. All species produced monounsaturated (MUFA), polyunsaturated (PUFA) and saturated (SFA) FAs, the latter being most abundant in all species. H. avicennae had the highest FA variety and was the only producer of γ-linolenic acid, while H. brevisporangia produced the lowest number of FAs. The best producer of arachidonic acid (ARA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) was H. thermoambigua with 3.89% and 9.09% of total FAs, respectively. In all species, palmitic acid (SFA) was most abundant and among the MUFAs produced oleic acid had the highest relative percentage. Principal component analysis (PCA) showed partial segregation of species by phylogenetic clade and subclade based on their FA profile. H. avicennae (Clade 4) differed from all other Clade 6 species due to the production of γ-linolenic and lauric acids. Our results disclosed interesting FA profiles in the tested species, adequate for energy (biodiesel), pharmaceutical and food industries (bioactive FAs). Despite the low amounts of lipids produced, this can be boosted by manipulating culture growth conditions. The observed interspecific variations in FA production provide preliminary insights into an evolutionary background of its production.