Effect of Salinity Stress on Lipid Accumulation in Scenedesmus sp. and Chlorella sp.: Feasibility of Stepwise Culturing

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The enhanced lipid accumulation in microalgae is envisioned under special stress conditions with the cost of algal growth, which in turn affects the overall lipid productivity. The selection of suitable stress conditions facilitates better lipid productivity without any harmful effect on microalgae growth and algal biomass production. In the present study, we have attempted to select the best salinity conditions towards better growth, biomass accumulation, and lipid productivity of microalgae. The study also envisaged testing the feasibility of the stepwise salinity stress-induced cultivation approach to minimize the growth penalty effect of microalgae. The highest specific growth rate (0.129, 0.133, 0.113 µday−1) and doubling per day (0.185, 0.193, 0.163 per day) were obtained at salinity concentration of 40 mM NaCl in BG-11 medium for Scenedesmus quadricauda (Sq19), Scenedesmus dimorphus (Sd12), and Chlorella sp. (Chl16), respectively. Maximal lipid content of 18.28, 30.70, and 32.19%, and lipid productivity of 8.59, 13.81, and 10.27 mg l−1 day−1 were achieved at 160 mM of NaCl in BG-11 media with the Sq19, Sd12, and Chl16 algal isolates, respectively. The utilization of stepwise salinity stress (160 mM) induced cultivation of Sd12 algal isolate results in higher lipid content (39.42%) and slightly improved lipid productivity than the control (without any stress, 20.4% lipid content). The results indicate the feasibility of enhancing the lipid content and productivity through the salinity-induced stepwise cultivation strategy.

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The authors would like to thank Jaypee University of Information and Technology, Waknaghat, HP-173234, India, for providing facilities for conducting the research.

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Correspondence to Anil Kant.

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Gour, R.S., Garlapati, V.K. & Kant, A. Effect of Salinity Stress on Lipid Accumulation in Scenedesmus sp. and Chlorella sp.: Feasibility of Stepwise Culturing. Curr Microbiol (2020).

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