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Brazilian Journal of Microbiology

Print version ISSN 1517-8382

Abstract

RONDA, Srinivasa Reddy et al. Aeration effect on Spirulina platensis growth and γ-linolenic acid production. Braz. J. Microbiol. [online]. 2012, vol.43, n.1, pp. 12-20. ISSN 1517-8382.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-83822012000100002.

The influence of aeration on algal growth and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) production in a bubble column photobioreactor was investigated. Studies were performed in a 20-L reactor at different aeration rates (0.2-2.5 vvm). Static, continuous, and periodic operation of air resulted in 41.9%, 88.4%, and 108% air saturation of dissolved oxygen, for which the corresponding values of GLA were 2.3, 6.5, and 7.5 mg·g-1 dry cell weight, respectively. An increase in the aeration rate from 0.2 to 2.5 vvm enhanced both the specific growth rate and GLA content under periodic sparging in the bicarbonate medium. With a 6-fold increase in the aeration rate, the GLA content of the alga increased by 69.64% (5.6-9.5 mg· g-1 dry cell weight). In addition, the total fatty acid (TFA) content in dry biomass increased from 2.22% to 4.41%, whereas the algae maintained a constant GLA to TFA ratio within the aeration rate tested. The dependence of GLA production on the aeration rate was explained by interrelating the GLA production rate with the specific growth rate using the Luedeking and Piret mixed growth model.

Keywords : Spirulina platensis; Aeration; Photobioreactor; Gamma-linolenic acid.

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