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Kinetic modeling of light limitation and sulfur deprivation effects in the induction of hydrogen production with Chlamydomonas reinhardtii: Part I. Model development and parameter identification.

Biotechnology and Bioengineering

Sulfur, metabolism, Hydrogen, Light, Models, Theoretical, Photosystem II Protein Complex, Starch, Animals, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

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      Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a green microalga capable of turning its metabolism towards H2 production under specific conditions. However this H2 production, narrowly linked to the photosynthetic process, results from complex metabolic reactions highly dependent on the environmental conditions of the cells. A kinetic model has been developed to relate culture evolution from standard photosynthetic growth to H2 producing cells. It represents transition in sulfur-deprived conditions, known to lead to H2 production in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, and the two main processes then induced which are an over-accumulation of intracellular starch and a progressive reduction of PSII activity for anoxia achievement. Because these phenomena are directly linked to the photosynthetic growth, two kinetic models were associated, the first (one) introducing light dependency (Haldane type model associated to a radiative light transfer model), the second (one) making growth a function of available sulfur amount under extracellular and intracellular forms (Droop formulation). The model parameters identification was realized from experimental data obtained with especially designed experiments and a sensitivity analysis of the model to its parameters was also conducted. Model behavior was finally studied showing interdependency between light transfer conditions, photosynthetic growth, sulfate uptake, photosynthetic activity and O2 release, during transition from oxygenic growth to anoxic H2 production conditions.

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