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Effect of light quality and quantity on productivity and phycoerythrin concentration in the cryptophyte Rhodomonas sp.
Latsos, C.; van Houcke, J.; Blommaert, L.; Verbeeke, G.P.; Kromkamp, J.; Timmermans, K.R. (2021). Effect of light quality and quantity on productivity and phycoerythrin concentration in the cryptophyte Rhodomonas sp. J. Appl. Phycol. 33(2): 729-741. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10811-020-02338-3
In: Journal of Applied Phycology. Springer: Dordrecht. ISSN 0921-8971; e-ISSN 1573-5176, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine/Coastal
Author keywords
    Microalgae; Rhodomonas sp.; Phycoerythrin; Light quantity; Light quality; PUR; Biomass composition

Authors  Top 
  • Latsos, C.
  • van Houcke, J.
  • Bommaert, L., more
  • Verbeeke, G.P.
  • Kromkamp, J.
  • Timmermans, K.R., more

Abstract
    The cryptophyte Rhodomonas sp. is a potential feed source for aquaculture live feed and resource for phycoerythrin (PE) production. This research investigates the influence of light, both quality and quantity, on the biomass productivity, composition and growth rate of Rhodomonas sp. The incident light intensity used in the experiments was 50 μmolphotons m−2 s−1, irrespective of the colour of the light, and cultivation took place in lab-scale flat-panel photobioreactors in turbidostat mode. The highest productivity in volumetric biomass (0.20 gdry weight L−1 day−1), measured under continuous illumination, was observed under green light conditions. Blue and red light illumination resulted in lower productivities, 0.11 gdry weight L−1 day−1 and 0.02 g L−1 day−1 respectively. The differences in production are ascribed to increased absorption of green and blue wavelength by phycoerythrin, chlorophyll and carotenoids, causing higher photosynthetically usable radiation (PUR) from equal photosynthetically absorbed irradiance (PAR). Moreover, phycoerythrin concentration (281.16 mg gDW−1) was stimulated under red light illumination. Because photosystem II (PSII) absorbs poorly red light, the algae had to induce more pigments in order to negate the lower absorption per unit pigment of the incident available photons. The results of this study indicate that green light can be used in the initial growth of Rhodomonas sp. to produce more biomass and, at a later stage, red light could be implemented to stimulate the synthesis of PE. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis demonstrated a significant difference between the cells under different light quality, with higher contents of proteins for samples of Rhodomonas sp. cultivated under green light conditions. In comparison, higher carbohydrate contents were observed for cells that were grown under red and blue light.

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