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J. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 2010; 20(9): 1276-1282

Published online September 28, 2010 https://doi.org/10.4014/jmb.0909.09005

Copyright © The Korean Society for Microbiology and Biotechnology.

An Alternative Approach to the Traditional Mixotrophic Cultures of Haematococcus pluvialis Flotow (Chlorophyceae)

Tolga Göksan 1*, Ilknur Ak 1 and Sevket Gokpinar 2

1Department of Aquaculture, Faculty of Fisheries, Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University, 17100, Canakkale, Turkey, 2Department of Aquaculture, Faculty of Fisheries, Ege University, 35100, Izmir, Turkey

Received: September 7, 2009; Accepted: November 6, 2009

Abstract

In traditional mixotrophic cultures of microalgae, all the inorganic nutrients and organic carbon sources are supplied in the medium before inoculation. In this study, however, an alternative approach was adopted in Haematococcus pluvialis Flotow, a microalga capable of growing mixotrophically on sodium acetate (Na-Ac). First, the cells were grown under 75 µmol photons m-2 s-1 phototrophically without Na-Ac until the stationary phase and then exposed to five different light regimes by the addition of Na-Ac, e.g., dark, 20, 40, 75 and 150 µmol photons m-2 s-1. Dry weight (DW), pigments and especially cell number in alternative mixotrophy (AM) were higher than traditional mixotrophy (TM). Cell number in AM almost doubled up from 21.7 to 42.9 x 104 cells mL-1 during 5 day exposure to Na-Ac, whereas the increase was only 1.2-fold in TM. Maximum cell density was reached in 75 µmol photons m-2 s-1 among the light intensities tested. We propose that Na-Ac in TM of H. pluvialis can not be utilized as efficient as in AM. With this respect, AM is of several advantages against TM such as a much higher cell density in a batch culture period and minimized risk of contamination due to the shorter exposure of cells to organic carbon sources. In consequence, this method may be used for other strains of the species, and even for the other microalgal species able to grow mixotrophically.

Keywords: Haematococcus pluvialis, vegetative growth, mixotrophic culture, acetate, pigments