Journal of Applied Phycology

, 21:127 | Cite as

Growth characteristics of the cyanobacterium Nostoc flagelliforme in photoautotrophic, mixotrophic and heterotrophic cultivation

  • Haifeng Yu
  • Shiru JiaEmail author
  • Yujie Dai


Nostoc flagelliforme is a terrestrial cyanobacterium with high economic value. Dissociated cells separated from a natural colony of N. flagelliforme were cultivated for 7 days under either phototrophic, mixotrophic or heterotrophic culture conditions. The highest biomass, 1.67 g L−1 cell concentration, was obtained under mixotrophic culture, representing 4.98 and 2.28 times the biomass obtained in phototrophic and heterotrophic cultures, respectively. The biomass in mixotrophic culture was not the sum as that in photoautotrophic and heterotrophic cultures. During the first 4 days of culture, the cell concentration in mixotrophic culture was lower than the sum of those in photoautotrophic and heterotrophic cultures. However, from the 5th day, the cell concentration in mixotrophic culture surpassed the sum of those obtained from the other two trophic modes. Although the inhibitor of photosynthetic electron transport DCMU [3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea] efficiently inhibited autotrophic growth of N. flagelliforme cells, under mixotrophic culture they could grow by using glucose. The addition of glucose changed the response of N.flagelliforme cells to light. The maximal photosynthetic rate, dark respiration rate and light compensation point in mixotrophic culture were higher than those in photoautotrophic cultures. These results suggest that photoautotrophic (photosynthesis) and heterotrophic (oxidative metabolism of glucose) growth interact in mixotrophic growth of N. flagelliforme cells.


Nostoc flagelliforme Growth characteristics Mixotrophic culture Heterotrophic culture Photosynthetic characteristics 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 20376061) and by the Science and Technology Commission of Tianjin municipality (No. 043801611).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tianjin Key Lab of Industrial MicrobiologyTianjin University of Science and TechnologyTianjinChina
  2. 2.College of Food and Bioengineering, Shandong Institute of Light IndustryShandong JinanChina

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