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Isolation and screening of euryhaline Tetraselmis spp. suitable for large-scale outdoor culture in hypersaline media for biofuels

Fon Sing, S. and Borowitzka, M.A.ORCID: 0000-0001-6504-4563 (2016) Isolation and screening of euryhaline Tetraselmis spp. suitable for large-scale outdoor culture in hypersaline media for biofuels. Journal of Applied Phycology, 28 (1). pp. 1-14.

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Natural saline lakes in Western Australia were sampled for microalgae species and strains with potential for large-scale outdoor cultivation over a wide range of salinities for biofuels production. Using a rational isolation and screening process, several Tetraselmis strains (Chlorophyta, Chlorodendrales) with a broad range of salinity tolerance were identified and were characterised further for their potential for biofuels production. Specific growth rates increased from 0.8 to 1.2 days−1 when the medium salinity was decreased from 11 to 3 % (w/v) NaCl (1.88 to 0.51 M NaCl) in batch cultivation mode, thereby indicating quick adaptation to large salinity changes. In general, ash-free dry weight (AFDW), total lipid, protein and carbohydrate contents per cell were highest in the early stages of growth. Salinity increases led to an increase in cell AFDW, with the highest mean maximum of 2555 ± 659 pg AFDW.cell−1 at 11 % (w/v) NaCl in the strains Tetraselmis MUR 167 and MUR 219 which had been in culture for many years, as compared to the mean maximum of 981 ± 141 pg AFDW.cell−1 the in newly isolated strains MUR 230, 231, 232 and 233. Similar observations on total lipid, protein and carbohydrate content per cell were made between the two groups of strains. Overall, all strains yielded high biomass and total lipid productivities over a very wide range of salinities without large variation in their gross biochemical composition and growth pattern. Based on AFDW and total lipid productivity data, the order of preference for selecting strains for further investigation for large-scale culture was MUR 231 > MUR 233 > MUR 219 > MUR 230 > MUR 232 > MUR 167. The Tetraselmis spp. were also very competitive as shown by the outdoor cultivation of diatom, Halamphora coffeaeformis MUR 158, in parallel with Tetraselmis sp. MUR 167 which resulted in the diatom being outcompeted by the green alga. Our results demonstrate the high commercial potential of euryhaline Tetraselmis spp. for cultivation over a broad range of salinity in outdoor cultures.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Algae & Seagrass Research Group
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Copyright: © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
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