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Title: The dark side of algae cultivation: Characterizing night biomass loss in three photosynthetic algae, Chlorella sorokiniana, Nannochloropsis salina and Picochlorum sp.

Night biomass loss in photosynthetic algae is an essential parameter that is often overlooked when modeling or optimizing biomass productivities. Night respiration acts as a tax on daily biomass gains and has not been well characterized in the context of biofuel production. We examined the night biomass loss in three algae strains that may have potential for commercial biomass production ( Nannochloropsis salina-CCMP1776, Chlorella sorokiniana-DOE1412, and Picochlorum sp. LANL-WT). Biomass losses were monitored by ash free dry weight (AFDW mg/L -1) and optical density (OD 750) on a thermal-gradient incubator. Night biomass loss rates were highly variable (ranging from -0.006 to -0.59 day -1), species-specific, and dependent on both culture growth phase prior to the dark period and night pond temperature. In general, the fraction of biomass lost over a 10 hour dark period, which ranged from ca. 1 to 22% in our experiments, was positively correlated with temperature and declined as the culture transitioned from exponential to linear to stationary phase. Furthermore, the dynamics of biomass loss should be taken into consideration in algae strain selection, are critical in predictive modeling of biomass production based on geographic location and can influence the net productivity of photosynthetic cultures used formore » bio-based fuels or products.« less
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2211-9264; BM0108010
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830; EE0006269
Published Article
Journal Name:
Algal Research
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 2211-9264
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; microalgae; respiration; metabolism; photosynthetic productivity; predictive modeling; strain characterization; biomass decay
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1225138