ABSTRACT Effect of salt stress on biomass, cell number, contents of total lipid, omega-3 fatty acids, including ALA (Alpha Linolenic Acid), EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) and their biosynthetic pathway intermediates (palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid and linoleic acid) of two microalgae Dunaliella salina and Chlorella vulgaris were investigated. Dilution stress from 1.5 to 0.5 M NaCl and salt stress from 1.5 to 3 M NaCl were incorporated into the D. salina medium. Salt stress of 200 mM NaCl was also applied to C. vulgaris culture. Results indicated that increasing salt concentration resulted in the reduced growth rate of C. vulgaris and substantial increase of the total lipid content in both species. Proper growth rate of D. salina observed at 1.5 M of NaCl, but higher and lower concentrations led to the decreased growth rate of D. salina. In addition, considerable increase in the degree of fatty acid unsaturation and thereby the total omega 3 fatty acid content of D. salina was observed under salt stress. Salt stress had little positive effect on the amount of total omega-3 fatty acid of C. vulgaris due to the slight increase of the EPA content. Results showed that salt stress is an effective way for enhancing the total lipid and omega-3 fatty acid production in D. salina.