African Journal of Biotechnology

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Manipulating nutrient composition of microalgal growth media to improve biomass yield and lipid content of Micractinium pusillum

Reda AI Abou-Shanab, Sapireddy V Raghavulu, Nagah MA Hassanin, Seongheon Kim, Yong Je Kim, Sang Un Oh, You-Kwan Oh, Byong-Hun Jeon


Biodiesel production from microalgae depends on the algal biomass and lipid content. Both biomass production and lipid accumulation are limited by several factors in which nutrients play a key role. We investigated the influences of micronutrients on biomass, and lipid content of Micractinium pusillum GU732425 cultivated in bold basal media (BBM). The average dry biomass of microalgal strain in control medium reached 0.34 ± 0.01 g /L, while doubling (2X) the levels of Mn and Cu concentration increased the dry biomass to 0.38 ± 0.01 and 0.37 ± 0.02 g /L, respectively. M. pusillum cultivated in control medium had a biomass of 0.82 ± 0.05 g/L and a lipid productivity of 0.33 ± 0.02 g/L after 17 day cultivation. The alga cultivated in BBM with 4X Mn or 4X Cu produced more biomass (1.25 ± 0.01 or 1.28 ± 0.04 g dw/L) and lipid productivity (0.45±0.04 or 0.47±0.05 g/L), respectively. M. pusillum cultivated in different growth media had fatty acid compositions mainly comprising linoleic (49-54%), palmitic (24-29%), linolenic (16-22%), and oleic acids (2-5%). These results can be used to maximize the production of microalgal biomass and lipids in optimally designed  photobioreactors.

Key words: Micractinium pusillum, biomass, lipid production, media composition, fatty acids, trace metals.
AJOL African Journals Online