Researchers find new heterotrophic alga with high lipid content
7 October 2013
Researchers at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China have identified a novel heterotrophic alga (algae that grow by consuming sugars derived from plants rather than autotrophic, photosynthetic algae) with high total lipid content.
In an open access paper in the journal Biotechnology for Biofuels, they reported that compared to autotrophic algae, the microalga Scenedesmus sp. strain R-16 grows well heterotrophically without light. The accumulated total lipid content and biomass reached 43.4% and 3.46 g L-1, respectively. In addition, nitrogen deficiency led to an accumulation of lipid with a total lipid content was as high as 52.6%.
Biodiesel production from oleaginous microalgae shows great potential as a promising alternative to conventional fossil fuels. Currently, most research focus on algal biomass production with autotrophic cultivation, but this cultivation strategy induces low biomass concentration and it is difficult to be used in large-scale algal biomass production. By contrast, heterotrophic algae allows higher growth rate and can accumulate higher lipid. However, the fast-growing and lipid-rich microalgae that can be cultivated in heterotrophic system for the industrial application of biodiesel production are still few. Traditional solvent extraction and gravimetric determination to detect the microalgal total lipid content is time-consuming and laborious, which has become a major limiting factor for selecting large number of algae specimens. Thus, it is critical to develop a rapid and efficient procedure for the screening of lipid-rich microalgae.
...The newly developed ultrasonic-assisted Nile red method proved to be an efficient isolation procedure and was successfully used in the selection of oleaginous microalgae. The isolated novel green microalgal strain R-16 was rich in lipid and can live in varied and contrasting conditions. The algae appeared to have great potential for application in microalgae-based biodiesel production.—Ren et al.
Hong-Yu Ren, Bing-Feng Liu, Chao Ma, Lei Zhao and Nan-Qi Ren (2013) A new lipid-rich microalga Scenedesmus sp. Strain R-16 isolated using Nile red staining: effects of carbon and nitrogen sources and initial pH on the biomass and lipid production. Biotechnology for Biofuels 6:143 doi: 10.1186/1754-6834-6-143
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Researchers find new heterotrophic alga with high lipid content: