University Of Tasmania

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Odd-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in thraustochytrids

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 06:40 authored by Lee Chang, KJ, Mansour, MP, Dunstan, GA, Blackburn, SI, Anthony KoutoulisAnthony Koutoulis, Nichols, PD
A series of unusual odd-chain fatty acids (OC-FA) were identified in two thraustochytrid strains, TC 01 and TC 04, isolated from waters off the south east coast of Tasmania, Australia. FA compositions were determined by capillary GC and GC–MS, with confirmation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) structure performed by analysis of 4,4-dimethyloxazoline derivatives. PUFA constituted 68–74% of the total FA, with the essential PUFA; eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5ω3, EPA), arachidonic acid (20:4ω6, AA) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6ω3, DHA), accounting for 42–44% of the total FA. High proportions of the saturated OC-FA 15:0 (7.1% in TC 01) and 17:0 (6.2% in TC 04) were detected. The OC-FA 17:1ω8 was present at 2.8% in TC 01. Of particular interest, the C21 PUFA 21:5ω5 and 21:4ω7 were detected at 3.5% and 4.1%, respectively, in TC 04. A proposed biosynthesis pathway for these OC-PUFA is presented. It is possible that the unsaturated OC-PUFA found previously in a number of marine animals were derived from dietary thraustochytrids and they could be useful biomarkers in environmental and food web studies.


Publication title

Phytochemistry: International Journal of Plant Biochemistry










School of Natural Sciences


Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd

Place of publication

The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England, Ox5 1Gb

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The definitive version is available at

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  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems