Investigation of lipid production by nitrogen-starved Parachlorella kessleri under continuous illumination and day/night cycles for biodiesel application
This study aims to investigate the triacylglycerol (TAG) productivity of Parachlorella kessleri grown under continuous illumination and to investigate its metabolism in simulated day/night cycles in order to estimate the feasibility of a large-scale production in outdoor solar photobioreactors. The strain was chosen for its ability to accumulate large amounts of triacylglycerol during nitrogen starvation. Several protocols of nitrogen starvation were tested in continuous illumination as well as in simulated day/night cycles. Sudden and progressive nitrogen starvation conditions have enhanced the TAG concentration and productivity of P. kessleri reaching up to 48 dry wt% and 4.4 × 10−3 kg m−2 day−1, respectively. Microalgal cell metabolism was significantly affected by the day/night illumination cycles. The energy-rich compounds (TAGs and carbohydrates) were accumulated by P. kessleri during the photoperiods and partly consumed during the dark to sustain the microalgae vitality. This TAG oxidation ultimately led to a 26% decrease in TAG productivity in cultures exposed to day/night cycles compared to ones exposed to continuous illumination of equal 24-h average photon flux density. The results can dictate the optimal time for harvesting cells for recovering the largest amount of TAGs.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10811-017-1286-0
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