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 journalArticlepeer-review

214 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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