Browsing by Subject "MICROALGAE"

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  • Mercier, Léon; Peltomaa, Elina; Ojala, Anne (2022)
    Phycobiliproteins are pigments with uses in pharmacology, cosmetics, foods, and as fluorescent probes in biochemistry. Cryptophyte microalgae are one possible source of phycobiliproteins as well as other molecules such as omega-3 fatty acids. The use of cryptophytes in biotechnology is currently very limited and especially the potential of freshwater species is poorly documented. For commercial microalgae production, it is important to find the best performing strains in terms of growth and yields of the products of interest. Phycoerythrin is a phycobiliprotein with red colour and strong yellow fluorescence. In this study, we evaluate the growth and phycoerythrin production of eight strains of freshwater cryptophytes belonging to the genus Cryptomonas, comparing them to two marine strains. The strains are grown in batch cultures under standardised conditions. Most of the studied freshwater strains have lower growth rates and all of them have lower biomass yields than the marine strains. However, most of them have much higher cellular phycoerythrin concentrations, which in the case of two strains leads them to a significantly higher overall phycoerythrin yield. There is large variation among cryptophytes in growth rates and phycoerythrin content. Our results suggest that freshwater cryptophytes of the genus Cryptomonas may be better sources of phycoerythrin than the more extensively studied marine strains.
  • Peltomaa, Elina; Hällfors, Heidi; Taipale, Sami J. (2019)
    Recent studies have clearly shown the importance of omega-3 (-3) and omega-6 (-6) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) for human and animal health. The long-chain eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6-3) are especially recognized for their nutritional value, and ability to alleviate many diseases in humans. So far, fish oil has been the main human source of EPA and DHA, but alternative sources are needed to satisfy the growing need for them. Therefore, we compared a fatty acid profile and content of 10 diatoms and seven dinoflagellates originating from marine, brackish and freshwater habitats. These two phytoplankton groups were chosen since they are excellent producers of EPA and DHA in aquatic food webs. Multivariate analysis revealed that, whereas the phytoplankton group (46%) explained most of the differences in the fatty acid profiles, habitat (31%) together with phytoplankton group (24%) explained differences in the fatty acid contents. In both diatoms and dinoflagellates, the total fatty acid concentrations and the -3 and -6 PUFAs were markedly higher in freshwater than in brackish or marine strains. Our results show that, even though the fatty acid profiles are genetically ordered, the fatty acid contents may vary greatly by habitat and affect the -3 and -6 availability in food webs.
  • Olsson, Sanna; Penacho, Vanessa; Puente-Sanchez, Fernando; Diaz, Silvia; Eduardo Gonzalez-Pastor, Jose; Aguilera, Angeles (2017)
    Transcriptomic sequencing together with bioinformatic analyses and an automated annotation process led us to identify novel phytochelatin synthase (PCS) genes from two extremophilic green algae (Chlamydomonas acidophila and Dunaliella acidophila). These genes are of intermediate length compared to known PCS genes from eukaryotes and PCS-like genes from prokaryotes. A detailed phylogenetic analysis gives new insight into the complicated evolutionary history of PCS genes and provides evidence for multiple horizontal gene transfer events from bacteria to eukaryotes within the gene family. A separate subgroup containing PCS-like genes within the PCS gene family is not supported since the PCS genes are monophyletic only when the PCS-like genes are included. The presence and functionality of the novel genes in the organisms were verified by genomic sequencing and qRT-PCR. Furthermore, the novel PCS gene in Chlamydomonas acidophila showed very strong induction by cadmium. Cloning and expression of the gene in Escherichia coli clearly improves its cadmium resistance. The gene in Dunaliella was not induced, most likely due to gene duplication.
  • Abidizadegan, Maryam; Blomster, Jaanika; Fewer, David; Peltomaa, Elina (2022)
    Simple Summary In recent decades, the demand for natural and sustainable bioproducts has risen markedly. Accordingly, microalgae have received much attention as a promising biological resource with great industrial potential, since the microalgal production of biologically active compounds can be boosted by changing their cultivation conditions. Light is one of the key factors in the photosynthetic process, which directly affects cell division and the production of biochemical compounds. This study investigated the effect of light color and the species-specific capability of cryptophyte algae to produce phycoerythrin, phenolic compounds, and exopolysaccharides. The produced biomolecules were further studied for their antioxidant activity. The results showed that changes in light quality significantly affect the biochemical compositions of cryptophyte algae. Moreover, species-specific responses to changes in light quality were identified. The quantity and quality of derived biomolecules from the studied cryptophytes are remarkable and indicate that cryptophytes could be considered promising candidates for producing natural biochemical products for practical applications in various industry sectors, such as food, pharmacy, and cosmetics. The accumulation and production of biochemical compounds in microalgae are influenced by available light quality and algal species-specific features. In this study, four freshwater cryptophyte strains (Cryptomonas ozolinii, C. pyrenoidifera, C. curvata, and C. sp. (CPCC 336)) and one marine strain (Rhodomonas salina) were cultivated under white (control), blue, and green (experimental conditions) lights. Species-specific responses to light quality were detected, i.e., the color of light significantly affected cryptophyte biomass productivity and biochemical compositions, but the optimal light for the highest chemical composition with high antioxidant capacity was different for each algal strain. Overall, the highest phycoerythrin (PE) content (345 mg g(-1) dry weight; DW) was reached by C. pyrenoidifera under green light. The highest phenolic (PC) contents (74, 69, and 66 mg g(-1) DW) were detected in C. curvata under control conditions, in C. pyrenoidifera under green light, and in C. ozolinii under blue light, respectively. The highest exopolysaccharide (EPS) content (452 mg g(-1) DW) was found in C. curvata under the control light. In terms of antioxidant activity, the biochemical compounds from the studied cryptophytes were highly active, with IC50 -values < 50 mu g mL(-1). Thus, in comparison to well-known commercial microalgal species, cryptophytes could be considered a possible candidate for producing beneficial biochemical compounds.
  • Lynch, Fiona; Santana-Sanchez, Anita; Jämsä, Mikael; Sivonen, Anna Kaarina; Aro, Eva-Mari; Allahverdiyeva, Yagut (2015)
    The value and efficiency of microalgal biofuel production can be improved in an integrated system using waste streams as feed-stock, with fuel-rich biomass and treated wastewater being key end-products. We have evaluated seven native cyanobacterial isolates and one native green alga for their nutrient removal, biomass accumulation and lipid production capacities. All native isolates were successfully grown on synthetic wastewater mimicking secondary treated municipal wastewater (without organic carbon). Complete phosphate removal was achieved by the native green alga, isolated from Tvarminne (SW Finland). Optimisation of the C:N ratio available to this strain was achieved by addition of 3% CO2 and resulted in complete ammonium removal in synthetic wastewater. The native green alga demonstrated similar nutrient removal rates and even stronger growth in screened municipal wastewater, which had double the ammonium concentration of the synthetic media and also contained organic carbon. Sequencing of the genes coding for 18S small rRNA subunit and the ITS1 spacer region of this alga placed it in the Scenedesmaceae family. The lipid content of native isolates was evaluated using BODIPY (505/515) staining combined with high-throughput flow cytometry, where the native green alga demonstrated significantly greater neutral lipid accumulation than the cyanobacteria under the conditions studied. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
  • Taipale, Sami; Peltomaa, Elina; Salmi, Pauliina (2020)
    Phytoplankton synthesizes essential omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) for consumers in the aquatic food webs. Only certain phytoplankton taxa can synthesize eicosapentaenoic (EPA; 20:5 omega 3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6 omega 3), whereas all phytoplankton taxa can synthesize shorter-chain omega-3 and omega-6 PUFA. Here, we experimentally studied how the proportion, concentration (per DW and cell-specific), and production (mu g FA L-1 day(-1)) of omega-3 and omega-6 PUFA varied among six different phytoplankton main groups (16 freshwater strains) and between exponential and stationary growth phase. EPA and DHA concentrations, as dry weight, were similar among cryptophytes and diatoms. However, Cryptomonas erosa had two-27 times higher EPA and DHA content per cell than the other tested cryptophytes, diatoms, or golden algae. The growth was fastest with diatoms, green algae, and cyanobacteria, resulting in high production of medium chain omega-3 and omega-6 PUFA. Even though the dinoflagellate Peridinium cinctum grew slowly, the content of EPA and DHA per cell was high, resulting in a three- and 40-times higher production rate of EPA and DHA than in cryptophytes or diatoms. However, the production of EPA and DHA was 40 and three times higher in cryptophytes and diatoms than in golden algae (chrysophytes and synyrophytes), respectively. Our results show that phytoplankton taxon explains 56-84% and growth phase explains similar to 1% of variation in the cell-specific concentration and production of omega-3 and omega-6 PUFA, supporting understanding that certain phytoplankton taxa play major roles in the synthesis of essential fatty acids. Based on the average proportion of PUFA of dry weight during growth, we extrapolated the seasonal availability of PUFA during phytoplankton succession in a clear water lake. This extrapolation demonstrated notable seasonal and interannual variation, the availability of EPA and DHA being prominent in early and late summer, when dinoflagellates or diatoms increased.