Article from Jens Boyen published in “Philosophical Transactions B”

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Last month, research by our PhD student Jens Boyen and colleagues was published in a special issue on fatty acid modifications in the scientific journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

The theme issue, entitled “The next horizons for lipids as trophic biomarkers: evidence and significance of consumer modification of dietary fatty acids” compiles research articles dealing with the fatty acid metabolism of animal species from diverse lineages. Lipids such as omega-3 fatty acids are not only important nutrients for higher trophic levels, but can also be used as biomarkers to study the diet of consumers.
In the article, Jens and his colleagues present a high-quality de novo transcriptome assembly and fatty acid profile of the harpacticoid copepod Platychelipus littoralis, exposed to changes in both temperature and dietary fatty acid availability. Multiple genes potentially involved in the fatty acid metabolism of P. littoralis were detected. Moreover, while temperature affected fatty acid concentrations, levels of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) remained unaltered even when copepods were fed an LC-PUFA-deficient diet. The study points to the capacity of fatty acid biosynthesis as a potential mechanism for harpacticoids copepods to cope with the effects of climate change.