Salt response of the freshwater microalga Scenedesmus obliquus (Turp.) Kutz is modulated by the algal growth phase

  • Taha Mohamed El-KatonyEmail author
  • Magda Faiz El-Adl


Growth and biochemical responses of the coenobial green alga Scenedesmus obliquus to salinity stress were monitored across different phases of growth. The alga was cultured on BG11 growth medium and subjected to 0, 30, 100, and 200 mmol/L NaCl for a period of 20 d, during which algal cultures were harvested at 4-d intervals. The salinity-induced inhibition of algal growth was accompanied with prolongation of timing of the different growth phases. The sharp and progressive salinity-induced inhibition of algal growth rate during the early phase of growth points to salt shock but moderation of inhibition at the subsequent stages of growth means algal acclimation to salinity. The concentrations of chlorophylls a and b, soluble sugars, proteins as well as those of K + and Na + in the alga exhibited peaks at the initiation of the exponential phase of growth, with increasing magnitude in proportion to the increase in the level of salinity. Nevertheless, whereas soluble sugars of the alga peaked at initiation of the exponential phase, starch concentration progressively increased with culture age, reaching saturation towards the stationary phase. Whereas the salinity-induced increase in soluble sugars was most evident at the early stages of growth the reverse was true for starch. The present results point to fast acclimation of S obliquus to salt stress post a brief salt shock, utilizing soluble sugars, K+ and Na+ for osmotic adjustment. Increasing salinity from 0 to 200 mmol/L NaCl led to progressive increase in soluble sugars, proteins, K + and Na + concentrations of the algal cells, particularly at the early stages of growth. However, the salinity-induced increase in chlorophyll concentration approached a limit at 100 mmol/L NaCl whereas that in starch concentration was more evident at the later stages of growth.


carbohydrates growth phase minerals protein salt stress Scenedesmus obliquus 


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Copyright information

© Chinese Society for Oceanology and Limnology, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Botany and Microbiology, Faculty of ScienceDamietta UniversityNew Damietta CityEgypt

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