Lipid remodeling regulator 1 (LRL1) is differently involved in the phosphorus-depletion response from PSR1 in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

Nur A. Hidayati, Yui Yamada-Oshima, Masako Iwai, Takashi Yamano, Masataka Kajikawa, Nozomu Sakurai, Kunihiro Suda, Kanami Sesoko, Koichi Hori, Takeshi Obayashi, Mie Shimojima, Hideya Fukuzawa, Hiroyuki Ohta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The elucidation of lipid metabolism in microalgae has attracted broad interest, as their storage lipid, triacylglycerol (TAG), can be readily converted into biofuel via transesterification. TAG accumulates in the form of oil droplets, especially when cells undergo nutrient deprivation, such as for nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), or sulfur (S). TAG biosynthesis under N-deprivation has been comprehensively studied in the model microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, during which TAG accumulates dramatically. However, the resulting rapid breakdown of chlorophyll restricts overall oil yield productivity and causes cessation of cell growth. In contrast, P-deprivation results in oil accumulation without disrupting chloroplast integrity. We used a reverse genetics approach based on co-expression analysis to identify a transcription factor (TF) that is upregulated under P-depleted conditions. Transcriptomic analysis revealed that the mutants showed repression of genes typically associated with lipid remodeling under P-depleted conditions, such as sulfoquinovosyl diacylglycerol 2 (SQD2), diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGTT1), and major lipid droplet protein (MLDP). As accumulation of sulfoquinovosyl diacylglycerol and TAG were suppressed in P-depleted mutants, we designated the protein as lipid remodeling regulator 1 (LRL1). LRL1 mutants showed slower growth under P-depletion. Moreover, cell size in the mutant was significantly reduced, and TAG and starch accumulation per cell were decreased. Transcriptomic analysis also suggested the repression of several genes typically upregulated in adaptation to P-depletion that are associated with the cell cycle and P and lipid metabolism. Thus, our analysis of LRL1 provides insights into P-allocation and lipid remodeling under P-depleted conditions in C. reinhardtii. Open Research Badges: This article has earned an Open Data Badge for making publicly available the digitally-shareable data necessary to reproduce the reported results. The sequencing data were made publicly available under the BioProject Accession number PRJDB6733 and an accession number LC488724 at the DNA Data Bank of Japan (DDBJ). The data is available at; The metabolome data were made publicly available and can be accessed at;

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)610-626
Number of pages17
JournalPlant Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Nov 1


  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
  • co-expression analysis
  • lipid remodeling
  • phosphorus starvation
  • transcription factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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