Physiological responses of carbon-sequestering microalgae to elevated carbon regimes

Virthie Kemraj Bhola, Feroz Mahomed Swalaha, Mahmoud Nasr, Sheena Kumari, Faizal Bux

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9 Citations (Scopus)


In order to identify a high carbon-sequestering microalgal strain, the physiological effect of different concentrations of carbon sources on microalgae growth was investigated. Five indigenous strains (I-1, I-2, I-3, I-4 and I-5) and a reference strain (I-0: Coccolithus pelagicus 913/3) were subjected to CO2 concentrations of 0.03–15% and NaHCO3 of 0.05–2 g CO2 l–1. The logistic model was applied for data fitting, as well as for estimation of the maximum growth rate (μmax) and the biomass carrying capacity (Bmax). Amongst the five indigenous strains, I-3 was similar to the reference strain with regards to biomass production values. The Bmax of I-3 significantly increased from 214 to 828 mg l–1 when CO2 concentration was increased from 0.03 to 15% (r = 0.955, P = 0.012). Additionally, the Bmax of I-3 increased with increasing NaHCO3 (r = 0.885, P = 0.046) and was recorded at 153 mg l–1 (at 0.05 g CO2 l–1) and 774 mg l–1 at (2 g CO2 l–1). Relative electron transport rate (rETR) and maximum quantum yield (Fv/Fm) were also applied to assess the impact of elevated carbon sources on the microalgal cells at the physiological level. Isolate I-3 displayed the highest rETR confirming its tolerance to higher quantities of carbon. Additionally, the decline in Fv/Fm with increasing carbon was similar for strains I-3 and the reference strain. Based on partial 28s ribosomal RNA gene sequencing, strain I-3 was homologous to the ribosomal genes of Chlorella sp.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-412
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Phycology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • CO fixation
  • CO tolerance
  • logistic model
  • microalgal isolation
  • NaHCO
  • NaHCO tolerance
  • physiological stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Plant Science

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