A new strain of yellow-green algae (Xanthophyceae, Heterokonta), tentatively named Heterococcus sp. DN1 (UTEX accession number UTEX ZZ885), was discovered among snow fields in the Rocky Mountains. Axenic cultures of H. sp. DN1 were isolated and their cellular morphology, growth, and composition of lipids were characterized. H. sp. DN1 was found to grow at temperatures approaching freezing to accumulate large intracellular stores of lipids. H. sp. DN1 produces the highest quantity of lipids when grown undisturbed with high light in low temperatures. Of particular interest was the accumulation of eicosapentaenoic acid, known to be important for human nutrition, and palmitoleic acid, known to improve biodiesel feedstock properties.
- Algal oil