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Brefeldin A suppresses vesicle trafficking by inhibiting exchange of GDP for GTP in ADP-ribosylation factor. We report that brefeldin A suppresses mobilization of triacylglycerols in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a model organism of green microalgae. Analyses revealed that brefeldin A causes Chlamydomonas to form lipid droplets in which triacylglycerols accumulate in a dose-dependent manner. Pulse labeling experiment using fluorescent fatty acids suggested that brefeldin A inhibits the cells from degrading fatty acids. The experiment also revealed that the cells transiently form novel compartments that accumulate exogenously added fatty acids in the cytoplasm, designated fatty acid-induced microbodies (FAIMs). Brefeldin A up-regulates the formation of FAIMs, whereas nitrogen deprivation that up-regulates triacylglycerol synthesis in Chlamydomonas does not cause the cells to form FAIMs. These results underscore the role of the vesicle trafficking machinery in triacylglycerol metabolism in green microalgae. © 2013 The Author.

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Plant and Cell Physiology

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