Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 9–19 | Cite as

Enlightening the dark side of Arthrospira maxima cultivation: evaluation of carbon supply modes and performance at optimal growth conditions

  • Raquel Rezende dos Santos
  • Ricardo Moreira ChaloubEmail author
  • José Luiz de Medeiros
  • Ofélia de Queiroz Fernandes Araújo


Night biomass loss due to respiratory activity can significantly impact the phytoplankton biomass productivity and the yield of specific biomolecules. A decrease in biomass loss can be achieved by cyclic two-stage cultivation (CTSC) employing an organic carbon source during the dark phase of the photoperiod. Thus, sugarcane vinasse was used as carbon supply in CTSC to influence the Arthrospira maxima growth. The impact of carbon supply on CTSC was assessed and the results show that splitting the supplementation volume of 60 mL supplemented vinasse into three doses of 20 mL during the dark phase increased biomass productivity by 35.4%, although the maximum exponential growth rate was unaffected. The cyanobacterium also takes up CO2 (supplied in the light phase) as \( {\mathrm{HCO}}_3^{-} \), high concentrations of which increase biomass loss. Thus, carbon assimilation in CTSC is higher when the concentration of dissolved inorganic carbon is reduced. Optimization of organic and inorganic carbon supply in CTSC with the response surface methodology resulted in an increased growth rate (from 0.73 to 1.18–1.62 day−1) and a reduction of cultivation time (from 7 to 5 days), thus producing a synergistic effect of reduced night biomass loss and vinasse treatment. After cultivating A. maxima for 5 days under optimal conditions (culture medium with 6.81 g L−1 of NaHCO3 and adding 1.5% (v/v) vinasse every 4 h during the dark phase), the reduction of chemical oxygen demand and electrical conductivity demonstrates that removal of organic matter present in the vinasse was due to cell growth during CTSC.


Cyanobacteria Sugarcane vinasse Carbon supply Cyclic two-stage cultivation Response surface methodology 



We thank Dr. Mario Giordano for criticisms and helpful suggestions for this manuscript. R. R. dos Santos gratefully acknowledges Gabriela Bouça Marques da Costa for the technical support on the data collected.

Funding information

R. R. dos Santos receives a scholarship and financial support from CNPq-Brazil (grant no. 141295/2013-9). J. L. Medeiros and O. Q. F. Araújo receive a research scholarship and financial support from CNPq-Brazil (grant no. 405851/2013-8).

Supplementary material

10811_2018_1578_MOESM1_ESM.doc (232 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 231 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Escola de QuímicaFederal University of Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Instituto de QuímicaFederal University of Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil

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