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      A promising approach to enhance microalgae productivity by exogenous supply of vitamins

      , ,

      Microbial Cell Factories

      BioMed Central

      Renewable energy, Microalgae, Bacteria, Vitamin, Auxotroph, Symbiosis

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          In order to reduce the consumption of traditional fossil fuels and their impact on the environment, strategies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions especially carbon dioxide needs exploration. Microalgae-based biofuels can be the best-fit plant based feed-stocks for diminishing a majority of the Universe’s energy problems. Interestingly, the eukaryotic microalgae aid in fixation of almost 50% of the global carbon in the environment. Thus, determination of parameters that will enhance microalgal growth and productivity is crucial, if they are to be used as future renewable energy sources. A large percentage of phytoplankton species are auxotroph for one or more vitamins. These species, in turn, are also dependent upon the vitamin biosynthetic pathways for processing of these vitamins. The present study serves as a base to discuss the prevalence of vitamin auxotrophy in microalgae and the methods of its acquirement from external sources such as heterotrophic bacteria. The next section of the paper sheds light on possible species-specific symbiotic interactions among microalgae and bacteria. Lastly is the discussion on how heterotrophic bacteria can act as a vitamin prototroph for an explicit microalgal vitamin auxotroph. The overall focus is placed upon harnessing these symbiotic interactions with intentions to obtain enhancements in microalgal biomass, lipid productivity, and flocculation rates. Moreover, the growth and distribution of a microalgal cell that thrives on a specific vitamin is perhaps met by growing it with the bacterial communities that nourish it. Thus, possibly by ecologically engineering a potential species-specific microalgal–bacterial consortium, it could tremendously contribute to the acceleration of photosynthetic activity, microalgal productivity, exchange of primary metabolites and other biogeochemical nutrients within the mini ecosystem.

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          Most cited references 78

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          Biofuels from microalgae—A review of technologies for production, processing, and extractions of biofuels and co-products

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            Biodiesel from microalgae beats bioethanol.

             Yusuf Chisti (2008)
            Renewable biofuels are needed to displace petroleum-derived transport fuels, which contribute to global warming and are of limited availability. Biodiesel and bioethanol are the two potential renewable fuels that have attracted the most attention. As demonstrated here, biodiesel and bioethanol produced from agricultural crops using existing methods cannot sustainably replace fossil-based transport fuels, but there is an alternative. Biodiesel from microalgae seems to be the only renewable biofuel that has the potential to completely displace petroleum-derived transport fuels without adversely affecting supply of food and other crop products. Most productive oil crops, such as oil palm, do not come close to microalgae in being able to sustainably provide the necessary amounts of biodiesel. Similarly, bioethanol from sugarcane is no match for microalgal biodiesel.
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              Cultivation, photobioreactor design and harvesting of microalgae for biodiesel production: a critical review.

              Microalgae have the ability to mitigate CO(2) emission and produce oil with a high productivity, thereby having the potential for applications in producing the third-generation of biofuels. The key technologies for producing microalgal biofuels include identification of preferable culture conditions for high oil productivity, development of effective and economical microalgae cultivation systems, as well as separation and harvesting of microalgal biomass and oil. This review presents recent advances in microalgal cultivation, photobioreactor design, and harvesting technologies with a focus on microalgal oil (mainly triglycerides) production. The effects of different microalgal metabolisms (i.e., phototrophic, heterotrophic, mixotrophic, and photoheterotrophic growth), cultivation systems (emphasizing the effect of light sources), and biomass harvesting methods (chemical/physical methods) on microalgal biomass and oil production are compared and critically discussed. This review aims to provide useful information to help future development of efficient and commercially viable technology for microalgae-based biodiesel production. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                Microb Cell Fact
                Microb. Cell Fact
                Microbial Cell Factories
                BioMed Central (London )
                28 November 2017
                28 November 2017
                : 16
                ISNI 0000 0004 0368 8293, GRID grid.16821.3c, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, , Shanghai Jiao Tong University, ; Shanghai, 200240 People’s Republic of China
                © The Author(s) 2017

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Funded by: FundRef, National Natural Science Foundation of China;
                Award ID: 21476139
                Award Recipient :
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                © The Author(s) 2017


                symbiosis, renewable energy, microalgae, bacteria, vitamin, auxotroph


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