Photosynthetic carbon partitioning and lipid production in the oleaginous microalga Pseudochlorococcum sp. (Chlorophyceae) under nitrogen-limited conditions

Yantao Li, Danxiang Han, Milton Sommerfeld, Qiang Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

191 Scopus citations

Abstract

Photosynthetic carbon partitioning into starch and neutral lipid was investigated in the oleaginous green microalga Pseudochlorococcum sp. When grown under low light and nitrogen-replete conditions, the algal cells possessed a basal level of starch. When grown under high light and nitrogen-limited conditions, starch synthesis was transiently up-regulated. After nitrogen depletion, starch content decreased while neutral lipid rapidly increased to 52.1% of cell dry weight, with a maximum neutral lipid productivity of 0.35gL-1D-1. These results suggest that Pseudochlorococcum used starch as a primary carbon and energy storage product. As nitrogen was depleted for an extended period of time, cells shift the carbon partitioning into neutral lipid as a secondary storage product. Partial inhibition of starch synthesis and degradation enzymes resulted in a decrease in neutral lipid content, indicating that conversion of starch to neutral lipid may contribute to overall neutral lipid accumulation. Biotechnological application of Pseudochlorococcum sp. as a production strain for biofuel was assessed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-129
Number of pages7
JournalBioresource Technology
Volume102
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

Keywords

  • Biofuel
  • Carbon partitioning
  • Neutral lipid
  • Oleaginous microalgae
  • Starch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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