Matching Items (9)

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Metabolic Remodeling of Membrane Glycerolipids in the Microalga Nannochloropsis oceanica under Nitrogen Deprivation

Description

The lack of lipidome analytical tools has limited our ability to gain new knowledge about lipid metabolism in microalgae, especially for membrane glycerolipids. An electrospray ionization mass spectrometry-based lipidomics method

The lack of lipidome analytical tools has limited our ability to gain new knowledge about lipid metabolism in microalgae, especially for membrane glycerolipids. An electrospray ionization mass spectrometry-based lipidomics method was developed for Nannochloropsis oceanica IMET1, which resolved 41 membrane glycerolipids molecular species belonging to eight classes. Changes in membrane glycerolipids under nitrogen deprivation and high-light (HL) conditions were uncovered. The results showed that the amount of plastidial membrane lipids including monogalactosyldiacylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol, and the extraplastidic lipids diacylglyceryl-O-4′-(N, N, N,-trimethyl) homoserine and phosphatidylcholine decreased drastically under HL and nitrogen deprivation stresses. Algal cells accumulated considerably more digalactosyldiacylglycerol and sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerols under stresses. The genes encoding enzymes responsible for biosynthesis, modification and degradation of glycerolipids were identified by mining a time-course global RNA-seq data set. It suggested that reduction in lipid contents under nitrogen deprivation is not attributable to the retarded biosynthesis processes, at least at the gene expression level, as most genes involved in their biosynthesis were unaffected by nitrogen supply, yet several genes were significantly up-regulated. Additionally, a conceptual eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) biosynthesis network is proposed based on the lipidomic and transcriptomic data, which underlined import of EPA from cytosolic glycerolipids to the plastid for synthesizing EPA-containing chloroplast membrane lipids.

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  • 2017-08-04

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Cellular Capacities for High-Light Acclimation and Changing Lipid Profiles across Life Cycle Stages of the Green Alga Haematococcus pluvialis

Description

The unicellular microalga Haematococcus pluvialis has emerged as a promising biomass feedstock for the ketocarotenoid astaxanthin and neutral lipid triacylglycerol. Motile flagellates, resting palmella cells, and cysts are the major

The unicellular microalga Haematococcus pluvialis has emerged as a promising biomass feedstock for the ketocarotenoid astaxanthin and neutral lipid triacylglycerol. Motile flagellates, resting palmella cells, and cysts are the major life cycle stages of H. pluvialis. Fast-growing motile cells are usually used to induce astaxanthin and triacylglycerol biosynthesis under stress conditions (high light or nutrient starvation); however, productivity of biomass and bioproducts are compromised due to the susceptibility of motile cells to stress. This study revealed that the Photosystem II (PSII) reaction center D1 protein, the manganese-stabilizing protein PsbO, and several major membrane glycerolipids (particularly for chloroplast membrane lipids monogalactosyldiacylglycerol and phosphatidylglycerol), decreased dramatically in motile cells under high light (HL). In contrast, palmella cells, which are transformed from motile cells after an extended period of time under favorable growth conditions, have developed multiple protective mechanisms—including reduction in chloroplast membrane lipids content, downplay of linear photosynthetic electron transport, and activating nonphotochemical quenching mechanisms—while accumulating triacylglycerol. Consequently, the membrane lipids and PSII proteins (D1 and PsbO) remained relatively stable in palmella cells subjected to HL. Introducing palmella instead of motile cells to stress conditions may greatly increase astaxanthin and lipid production in H. pluvialis culture.

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  • 2014-09-15

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Combined effect of initial biomass density and nitrogen concentration on growth and astaxanthin production of Haematococcus pluvialis (Chlorophyta) in outdoor cultivation

Description

Nitrogen availability and cell density each affects growth and cellular astaxanthin content of Haematococcus pluvialis, but possible combined effects of these two factors on the content and productivity of astaxanthin,

Nitrogen availability and cell density each affects growth and cellular astaxanthin content of Haematococcus pluvialis, but possible combined effects of these two factors on the content and productivity of astaxanthin, especially under outdoor culture conditions, is less understood. In this study, the effects of the initial biomass densities IBDs of 0.1, 0.5, 0.8, 1.5, 2.7, 3.5, and 5.0 g L-1 DW and initial nitrogen concentrations of 0, 4.4, 8.8, and 17.6 mM nitrate on growth and cellular astaxanthin content of H. pluvialis Flotow K-0084 were investigated in outdoor glass column photobioreactors in a batch culture mode. A low IBD of 0.1 g L-1 DW led to photo-bleaching of the culture within 1-2 days. When the IBD was 0.5 g L-1 and above, the rate at which the increase in biomass density and the astaxanthin content on a per cell basis was higher at lower IBD. When the IBD was optimal (i.e., 0.8 g L-1), the maximum astaxanthin content of 3.8% of DW was obtained in the absence of nitrogen, whereas the maximum astaxanthin productivity of 16.0 mg L-1 d(-1) was obtained in the same IBD culture containing 4.4 mM nitrogen. The strategies for achieving maximum Haematococcus biomass productivity and for maximum cellular astaxanthin content are discussed.

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  • 2013-08-30

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Automated monitoring and control systems for an algae photobioreactor

Description

There has been considerable advancement in the algae research field to move algae production for biofuels and bio-products forward to become commercially viable. However, there is one key element that

There has been considerable advancement in the algae research field to move algae production for biofuels and bio-products forward to become commercially viable. However, there is one key element that humans cannot control, the natural externalities that impact production. An algae cultivation system is similar to agricultural crop farming practices. Algae are grown on an area of land for a certain time period with the aim of harvesting the biomass produced. One of the advantages of using algae biomass is that it can be used as a source of energy in the form of biofuels. Major advances in algae research and development practices have led to new knowledge about the remarkable potential of algae to serve as a sustainable source of biofuel. The challenge is to make the price of biofuels from algae cost-competitive with the price of petroleum-based fuels. The scope of this research was to design a concept for an automated system to control specific externalities and determine if integrating the system in an algae cultivation system could improve the algae biomass production process. This research required the installation and evaluation of an algae cultivation process, components selection and computer software programming for an automated system. The results from the automated system based on continuous real time monitored variables validated that the developed system contributes insights otherwise not detected from a manual measurement approach. The implications of this research may lead to technology that can be used as a base model to further improve algae cultivation systems.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Water and energy requirements for outdoor algal cultivation in panel and raceway photobioreactors

Description

Recognition of algae as a “Fit for Purpose” biomass and its potential as an energy and bio-product resource remains relatively obscure. This is due to the absence of tailored and

Recognition of algae as a “Fit for Purpose” biomass and its potential as an energy and bio-product resource remains relatively obscure. This is due to the absence of tailored and unified production information necessary to overcome several barriers for commercial viability and environmental sustainability. The purpose of this research was to provide experimentally verifiable estimates for direct energy and water demand for the algal cultivation stage which yields algal biomass for biofuels and other bio-products. Algal biomass productivity was evaluated using different cultivation methods in conjunction with assessment for potential reduction in energy and water consumption for production of fuel and feed. Direct water and energy demands are the major focal sustainability metrics in hot and arid climates and are influenced by environmental and operational variables connected with selected algal cultivation technologies. Evaporation is a key component of direct water demand for algal cultivation and directly related to variations in temperature and relative humidity. Temperature control strategies relative to design and operational variables were necessary to mitigate overheating of the outdoor algae culture in panel photobioreactors and sub-optimal cultivation temperature in open pond raceways. Mixing in cultivation systems was a major component in direct energy demand that was provided by aeration in panel bioreactors and paddlewheels in open pond raceways. Management of aeration time to meet required biological interactions provides opportunities for reduced direct energy demand in panel photobioreactors. However, the potential for reduction in direct energy demand in raceway ponds is limited to hydraulics and head loss. Algal cultivation systems were reviewed for potential integration into dairy facilities in order to determine direct energy demand and nutrient requirements for algal biomass production for animal feed. The direct energy assessment was also evaluated for key components of related energy and design parameters for conventional raceway ponds and a gravity fed system. The results of this research provide a platform for selecting appropriate production scenarios with respect to resource use and to ensure a cost effective product with the least environmental burden.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Evaluation of potential agricultural applications of the microalga Scenedesmus dimorphus

Description

Microalgae represent a potential sustainable alternative for the enhancement and protection of agricultural crops. The dry biomass and cellular extracts of Scenedesmus dimorphus were applied as a biofertilizer, a foliar

Microalgae represent a potential sustainable alternative for the enhancement and protection of agricultural crops. The dry biomass and cellular extracts of Scenedesmus dimorphus were applied as a biofertilizer, a foliar spray, and a seed primer to evaluate seed germination, plant growth, and crop yield of Roma tomato plants. The dry biomass was applied as a biofertilizer at 50 g and 100 g per plant, to evaluate its effects on plant development and crop yield. Biofertilizer treatments enhanced plant growth and led to greater crop (fruit) production. Timing of biofertilizer application proved to be of importance - earlier 50 g biofertilizer application resulted in greater plant growth. Scenedesmus dimorphus culture, growth medium, and different concentrations (1%, 5%, 10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%) of aqueous cell extracts were used as seed primers to determine effects on germination. Seeds treated with Scenedesmus dimorphus culture and with extract concentrations higher than 50 % (0.75 g ml-1) triggered faster germination - 2 days earlier than the control group. Extract foliar sprays of 50 ml and 100 ml, were obtained and applied to tomato plants at various extract concentrations (10%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%). Plant height, flower development and number of branches were significantly enhanced with 50 % (7.5 g ml-1) extracts. Higher concentration sprays led to a decrease in growth. The extracts were further screened to assess potential antimicrobial activity against the bacterium Escherichia coli ATCC 25922, the fungi Candida albicans ATCC 90028 and Aspergillus brasiliensis ATCC 16404. No antimicrobial activity was observed from the microalga extracts on the selected microorganisms.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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The potential of coastal marine filtration as a feedstock source for biodiesel

Description

Second-generation biofuel feedstocks are currently grown in land-based systems that use valuable resources like water, electricity and fertilizer. This study investigates the potential of near-shore marine (ocean) seawater filtration as

Second-generation biofuel feedstocks are currently grown in land-based systems that use valuable resources like water, electricity and fertilizer. This study investigates the potential of near-shore marine (ocean) seawater filtration as a source of planktonic biomass for biofuel production. Mixed marine organisms in the size range of 20µm to 500µm were isolated from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) seawater filtration system during weekly backwash events between the months of April and August, 2011. The quantity of organic material produced was determined by sample combustion and calculation of ash-free dry weights. Qualitative investigation required density gradient separation with the heavy liquid sodium metatungstate followed by direct transesterification and gas chromatography with mass spectrometry (GC-MS) of the fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) produced. A maximum of 0.083g/L of dried organic material was produced in a single backwash event and a study average of 0.036g/L was calculated. This equates to an average weekly value of 7,674.75g of dried organic material produced from the filtration of approximately 24,417,792 liters of seawater. Temporal variations were limited. Organic quantities decreased over the course of the study. Bio-fouling effects from mussel overgrowth inexplicably increased production values when compared to un-fouled seawater supply lines. FAMEs (biodiesel) averaged 0.004% of the dried organic material with 0.36ml of biodiesel produced per week, on average. C16:0 and C22:6n3 fatty acids comprised the majority of the fatty acids in the samples. Saturated fatty acids made up 30.71% to 44.09% and unsaturated forms comprised 55.90% to 66.32% of the total chemical composition. Both quantities and qualities of organics and FAMEs were unrealistic for use as biodiesel but sample size limitations, system design, geographic and temporal factors may have impacted study results.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Seasonal and interannual variability of the Sargasso Sea plankton community

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Phytoplankton comprise the base of the marine food web, and, along with heterotrophic protists, they are key players in the biological pump that transports carbon from the surface to the

Phytoplankton comprise the base of the marine food web, and, along with heterotrophic protists, they are key players in the biological pump that transports carbon from the surface to the deep ocean. In the world's subtropical oligotrophic gyres, plankton communities exhibit strong seasonality. Winter storms vent deep water into the euphotic zone, triggering a surge in primary productivity in the form of a spring phytoplankton bloom. Although the hydrographic trends of this "boom and bust" cycle have been well studied for decades, community composition and its seasonal and annual variability remains an integral subject of research. It is hypothesized here that proportions of different phytoplankton and protistan taxa vary dramatically between seasons and years, and that picoplankton represent an important component of this community and contributor to carbon in the surface ocean. Monthly samples from the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS) site were analyzed by epifluorescence microscopy, which permits classification by morphology, size, and trophic type. Epifluorescence counts were supplemented with flow cytometric quantification of Synechococcus, Prochlorococcus, and autotrophic pico- and nanoeukaryotes. Results from this study indicate Synechococcus and Prochlorococcus, prymnesiophytes, and hetero- and mixotrophic nano- and dinoflagellates were the major players in the BATS region plankton community. Ciliates, cryptophytes, diatoms, unidentified phototrophs, and other taxa represented rarer groups. Both flow cytometry and epifluorescence microscopy revealed Synechococcus to be most prevalent during the spring bloom. Prymnesiophytes likewise displayed distinct seasonality, with the highest concentrations again being noted during the bloom. Heterotrophic nano- and dinoflagellates, however, were most common in fall and winter. Mixotrophic dinoflagellates, while less abundant than their heterotrophic counterparts, displayed similar seasonality. A key finding of this study was the interannual variability revealed between the two years. While most taxa were more abundant in the first year, prymnesiophytes experienced much greater abundance in the second year bloom. Analyses of integrated carbon revealed further stark contrasts between the two years, both in terms of total carbon and the contributions of different groups. Total integrated carbon varied widely in the first study year but displayed less fluctuation after June 2009, and values were noticeably reduced in the second year.

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Date Created
  • 2010

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The ecology of the plankton communities of two desert reservoirs

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In 2010, a monthly sampling regimen was established to examine ecological differences in Saguaro Lake and Lake Pleasant, two Central Arizona reservoirs. Lake Pleasant is relatively deep and clear, while

In 2010, a monthly sampling regimen was established to examine ecological differences in Saguaro Lake and Lake Pleasant, two Central Arizona reservoirs. Lake Pleasant is relatively deep and clear, while Saguaro Lake is relatively shallow and turbid. Preliminary results indicated that phytoplankton biomass was greater by an order of magnitude in Saguaro Lake, and that community structure differed. The purpose of this investigation was to determine why the reservoirs are different, and focused on physical characteristics of the water column, nutrient concentration, community structure of phytoplankton and zooplankton, and trophic cascades induced by fish populations. I formulated the following hypotheses: 1) Top-down control varies between the two reservoirs. The presence of piscivore fish in Lake Pleasant results in high grazer and low primary producer biomass through trophic cascades. Conversely, Saguaro Lake is controlled from the bottom-up. This hypothesis was tested through monthly analysis of zooplankton and phytoplankton communities in each reservoir. Analyses of the nutritional value of phytoplankton and DNA based molecular prey preference of zooplankton provided insight on trophic interactions between phytoplankton and zooplankton. Data from the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) provided information on the fish communities of the two reservoirs. 2) Nutrient loads differ for each reservoir. Greater nutrient concentrations yield greater primary producer biomass; I hypothesize that Saguaro Lake is more eutrophic, while Lake Pleasant is more oligotrophic. Lake Pleasant had a larger zooplankton abundance and biomass, a larger piscivore fish community, and smaller phytoplankton abundance compared to Saguaro Lake. Thus, I conclude that Lake Pleasant was controlled top-down by the large piscivore fish population and Saguaro Lake was controlled from the bottom-up by the nutrient load in the reservoir. Hypothesis 2 stated that Saguaro Lake contains more nutrients than Lake Pleasant. However, Lake Pleasant had higher concentrations of dissolved nitrogen and phosphorus than Saguaro Lake. Additionally, an extended period of low dissolved N:P ratios in Saguaro Lake indicated N limitation, favoring dominance of N-fixing filamentous cyanobacteria in the phytoplankton community in that reservoir.

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Date Created
  • 2011