The production of lipids alternately labelled with carbon-13

Elizabeth Boyle-Roden, J. B. German, B. J B Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Chlorella cells were shown to have similar fatty acid profiles when grown photoautotrophically or if grown photoheterotrophically with ethanoate (acetate) as carbon source. When supplied with ethanoate labelled with carbon-13 in the methyl group, the alga incorporated it into fatty acids with retention of the sequence of labelling on alternate carbon atoms, thus providing a convenient method for synthesising lipids in a form useful for nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) studies of lipids in situ in membranes. Marine algae used in fish farming may have higher levels of very highly unsaturated fatty acids; proposals for producing these compounds labelled with carbon-13 are, therefore, presented, based on using centrally labelled glycerol. The scope for producing other substances labelled in a form suitable for NMR studies, such as carotenoids, is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-289
Number of pages5
JournalBiomolecular Engineering
Issue number4-6
StatePublished - Jul 2003


  • 13C NMR
  • Cell membranes
  • Photoheterotrophy
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology


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