The Isolation of Marine Organisms for the Sustainable Production of Squalene
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The aim of this research was to isolate and characterize marine thraustochytrids to find a strain that could potentially be used to produce squalene in industrial fermentations. To support this goal, a method for laboratory-scale high throughput squalene extraction was developed to aid in screening the large number of isolates discovered in this work. A total of 406 marine isolates were found from four sampling trips, 270 of which were confirmed as thraustochytrids, based on their morphology. Through a series of flask level screening steps, the best strain for squalene production was selected and used for media development. Media factor screening using a Plackett-Burman design produced a maximum squalene content and concentration of 63.94 mg g-1 and 665.96 mg L-1, respectively. The three media factors that had the largest positive effect on squalene production were glycerol, sodium chloride and temperature.