Effect of temperature, nitrate concentration, pH and bicarbonate addition on biomass and lipid accumulation in the sporulating green alga PW95

Algal Research
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Abstract

The mixed effects of temperature (20 °C, 25 °C and 30 °C), nitrate concentration (0.5 mM and 2.0 mM), pH buffer, and bicarbonate addition (trigger) on biomass growth and lipid accumulation were investigated in the environmental alga PW95 during batch experiments in standardized growth medium. PW95 was isolated from coal-bed methane production water and classified as a Chlamydomonas-like species by morphological characterization and phylogenetic analysis (18S, ITS, rbcL). A factorial experimental design tested the mixed effects on PW95 before and after nitrate depletion to determine a low cost, high efficiency combination of treatments for biomass growth and lipid accumulation. Results showed buffer addition affected growth for most of the treatments and bicarbonate trigger had no statistically significant effect on growth and lipid accumulation. PW95 displayed the highest growth rate and chlorophyll content at 30 °C and 2.0 mM nitrate and there was an inverse relation between biomass accumulation and lipid accumulation at the extremes of nitrate concentration and temperature. The combination of higher temperature (30 °C) and lower nitrate level (0.5 mM) without the use of a buffer or bicarbonate addition resulted in maximal daily biomass accumulation (5.30 × 106 cells/mL), high biofuel potential before and after nitrate depletion (27% and 20%), higher biofuel productivity (16 and 15 mg/L/d, respectively), and desirable fatty acid profiles (saturated and unsaturated C16 and C18 chains). Our results indicate an important interaction between low nitrate levels, temperature, and elevated pH for trade-offs between biomass and lipid production in PW95. This work serves as a model to approach and advance the study of physiological responses of novel microalgae to diverse culture conditions that mimic environmental changes for outdoor biofuel production. The most promising conditions for growth and biofuel production were identified for PW95 and this approach can be implemented for other microalgal production systems.

    Publication type Article
    Publication Subtype Journal Article
    Title Effect of temperature, nitrate concentration, pH and bicarbonate addition on biomass and lipid accumulation in the sporulating green alga PW95
    Series title Algal Research
    DOI 10.1016/j.algal.2020.102148
    Volume 53
    Year Published 2021
    Language English
    Publisher Elsevier
    Contributing office(s) WY-MT Water Science Center
    Description 102148. 15 p.
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