Background: Microalgae, which can absorb carbon dioxide and then transform it into lipid, are promising candidates to produce renewable energy, especially biodiesel. The paucity of genomic information, however, limits the development of genome-based genetic modification to improve lipid production in many microalgae. Here, we describe the de novo sequencing, transcriptome assembly, annotation and differential expression analysis for Chlorella sorokiniana cultivated in different conditions to reveal the change of genes expression associated with lipid accumulation and photosynthetic carbon fixation. Results: Six cultivation conditions were selected to cultivate C. sorokiniana. Lipid content of C. sorokiniana under nitrogen-limited condition was 2.96 times than that under nitrogen-replete condition. When cultivated in light with nitrogen-limited supply, C. sorokiniana can use carbon dioxide to accumulate lipid. Then, transcriptome of C. sorokiniana was sequenced using Illumina paired-end sequencing technology, and 244,291,069 raw reads with length of 100 bp were produced. After preprocessed, these reads were de novo assembled into 63,811 contigs among which 23,528 contigs were found homologous sequences in public databases through Blastx. Gene expression abundance under six conditions were quantified by calculating FPKM value. Ultimately, we found 385 genes at least 2-fold up-regulated while 71 genes at least 2-fold down-regulated in nitrogen-limited condition. Also, 204 genes were at least 2-fold up-regulated in light while 638 genes at least 2-fold down-regulated. Finally, 16 genes were selected to conduct RT-qPCR and 15 genes showed the similar results as those identified by transcriptomic analysis in term of differential expression. Conclusions: De novo transcriptomic analyses have generated enormous information over C. sorokiniana, revealing a broad overview of genomic information related to lipid accumulation and photosynthetic carbon fixation. The genes with expression change under different conditions are highly likely the potential targets for genetic modification to improve lipid production and CO2 fixation efficiency in oleaginous microalgae.
- Chlorella sorokiniana
- Lipid accumulation
- Photosynthetic carbon fixation