Systems biology of lipid metabolism in Chlamydomonas
Keith Alden, Hui Qing Lim, Gerald Goh, Rajoshi Ghosh, and Neil D. Clarke
Genome Institute of Singapore, 60 Biopolis St, Singapore
Surprisingly little is known about lipid metabolism and its regulation in Chlamydomonas, particularly given the commercial interest in algae as a source of lipids for fuels, neutraceuticals and other products. In order to develop a "systems-level" description of lipid metabolism in Chlamydomonas, we are collecting data using a combined genetic, transcriptomic and lipidomic approach. The idea is to obtain lipid and gene expression profiles from diverse strains and under diverse conditions, and to use these data to develop a functional metabolic network that correlates gene expression differences to features in the lipid profiles. Genotypes of interest are being obtained by microRNA-mediated gene expression knockdown and by forward genetic screens using phenotypic assays under development. The transcriptome analyses are being done mostly with DNA microarrays, though we are also using RNA-seq to identify new genes and to improve the description of transcriptional units for known genes. Finally, I will discuss a novel bioinformatic analysis that has improved the annotation of enzyme functionality in the Chlamydomonas genome.
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