The unicellular green microalga Desmodesmus sp. S1 can produce more than 50% total lipid of cell dry weight under high light and nitrogen-limitation conditions. After irradiation by heavy 12C6+ ion beam of 10, 30, 60, 90 or 120 Gy, followed by screening of resulting mutants on 24-well microplates, more than 500 mutants were obtained. One of those, named D90G-19, exhibited lipid productivity of 0.298 g L-1·d-1, 20.6% higher than wild type, likely owing to an improved maximum quantum efficiency (Fv/Fm) of photosynthesis under stress. This work demonstrated that heavy-ion irradiation combined with high-throughput screening is an effective means for trait improvement. The resulting mutant D90G-19 may be used for enhanced lipid production.
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