Valuable fatty acids in bryophytes—production, biosynthesis, analysis and applications

Yi Lu, Finnur Freyr Eiriksson, Margrét Thorsteinsdóttir, Henrik Toft Simonsen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Bryophytes (mosses, liverworts and hornworts) often produce high amounts of very long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (vl-PUFAs) including arachidonic acid (AA, 20:4 Δ5,8,11,14) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5 Δ5,8,11,14,17). The presence of vl-PUFAs is common for marine organisms such as algae, but rarely found in higher plants. This could indicate that bryophytes did not lose their marine origin completely when they landed into the non-aqueous environment. Vl-PUFA, especially the omega-3 fatty acid EPA, is essential in human diet for its benefits on healthy brain development and inflammation modulation. Recent studies are committed to finding new sources of vl-PUFAs instead of fish and algae oil. In this review, we summarize the fatty acid compositions and contents in the previous studies, as well as the approaches for qualification and quantification. We also conclude different approaches to enhance AA and EPA productions including biotic and abiotic stresses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number524
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study is funded by Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, Innovative Training Networks under European Union Horizon 2020 programme under grant agreement No. 765115?MossTech.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Other keywords

  • Arachidonic acid
  • Bryophytes
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid
  • Environmental stress
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acid


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