Production of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) from a new species of Xanthophyceae, Heterococcus coloradii nelson, was discovered among snow fields in the Rocky Mountains and may have beneficial health products without the serious environmental costs of fishing or the negative consequences of fish farming. Algae, which can be produced easily in large quantities with limited environmental cost, can provide this new source of essential nutrients. Growing algae may provide a much more cost effective and simpler production means of producing lipids. Furthermore, the maintenance of adequate levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is poorly made in the human body from α-linolenic acid, is an important concern for human health. The metabolite of EPA, DHA, has been implicated in promoting healthy development of newborns, reduces the risk of heart disease, and decreases inflammatory factors.
Faculty mentors: David Nelson and Dr. Paul A Lefebvre
This research was supported by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).
Growth studies of a New Species of Xanthophyta: The Significance of Renewable Source of an Essential Lipid.
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