Green light as supplementary light for enhancing biomass production of Ettlia sp. and preventing population invasion from other microalgae

  • Jae-Yon Lee
  • Seong-Hyun Seo
  • Chi-Yong Ahn
  • Chang Soo Lee
  • Kwang-Guk An
  • Ankita SrivastavaEmail author
  • Hee-Mock OhEmail author


The biomass and carotenoid productivities of a freshwater microalga, Ettlia sp. YC001 (Chlorophyta, Chlamydomonadales), were investigated in continuous culture systems irradiated with various LEDs. Green light was effectively used by Ettlia sp. for its biomass growth compared to blue and red LED light. This effective use of green light was assumed to be beneficial for Ettlia sp., especially in competition with other microalgae. Thus, in a competition between Ettlia sp. and Chlorella vulgaris, Ettlia sp. out-competed C. vulgaris without losing any overall biomass productivity when green and white LEDs were used simultaneously. However, since Ettlia sp. also showed relatively low oxygen production under green light, further studies are needed on its photosynthesis and biomass production mechanisms. Notwithstanding, LEDs are potentially useful for identifying strain-specific photosynthetic characteristics of microalgae, thereby increasing their biomass productivity and controlling contamination from other microalgae in open culture systems.


Microalgae Green light Competition Biomass productivity 



We would like to offer special thanks to Dr. HJ La, who, although no longer with us, was a warm and creative scientist and continues to inspire by his example.

Authors’ contributions

Jae-Yon Lee and Hyun-Joon La made the primary conception and design of the study, experiments, analysis and interpretation of data, and drafting the article; Seong-Hyun Seo and Ankita Srivastava revised it critically; Chi-Yong Ahn, Chang Soo Lee, and Kwang-Guk An suggested important intellectual content; and Hee-Mock Oh has done final approval of the version to be submitted.

Funding information

This research was supported by a grant from the Advanced Biomass R&D Center (ABC), a Global Frontier Program funded by the Korean Ministry of Science and ICT.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

10811_2019_1737_MOESM1_ESM.docx (452 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 451 kb)


  1. Akimoto S, Tomo T, Naitoh Y, Otomo A, Murakami A, Mimuro M (2007) Identification of a new excited state responsible for the in vivo unique absorption band of siphonaxanthin in the green alga Codium fragile. J Phys Chem B 111:9179–9181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Atta M, Idris A, Bukhari A, Wahidin S (2013) Intensity of blue LED light: a potential stimulus for biomass and lipid content in fresh water microalgae Chlorella vulgaris. Bioresour Technol 148:373–378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bartley ML, Boeing WJ, Dungan BN, Holguin FO, Schaub T (2014) pH effects on growth and lipid accumulation of the biofuel microalgae Nannochloropsis salina and invading organisms. J Appl Phycol 26:1431–1437CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brown CS, Schuerger AC, Sager JC (1995) Growth and photomorphogenesis of pepper plants under red light-emitting diodes with supplemental blue or far-red lighting. J Am Soc Hortic Sci 120:808–813PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Chen CY, Yeh KL, Aisyah R, Lee DJ, Chang JS (2011) Cultivation, photobioreactor design and harvesting of microalgae for biodiesel production: a critical review. Bioresour Technol 102:71–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chisti Y (2007) Biodiesel from microalgae. Biotechnol Adv 25:294–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. de Mooij T, de Vries G, Latsos C, Wijffels RH, Janssen M (2016) Impact of light color on photobioreactor productivity. Algal Res 15:32–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Griffiths MJ, Harrison STL (2009) Lipid productivity as a key characteristic for choosing algal species for biodiesel production. J Appl Phycol 21:493–507CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hipkins MF, Baker NR (1986) Photosynthesis, energy transduction. In: Hipkins MF, Baker NR (eds) Spectroscopy. IRL Press, Oxford, pp 51–101Google Scholar
  10. Huang G, Chen F, Wei D, Zhang X, Chen G (2010) Biodiesel production by microalgal biotechnology. Appl Energ 87:38–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jasby AD, Platt T (1976) Mathematical formulation of the relationship between photosynthesis and light for phytoplankton. Limnol Oceanogr 21:540–547CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Johkan M, Shoji K, Goto F, Hahida S, Yoshihara T (2012) Effect of green light wavelength and intensity on photomorphogenesis and photosynthesis in Lactuca sativa. Environ Exp Bot 75:128–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kageyama A, Yokohama Y, Shimura S, Ikawa T (1977) An efficient excitation energy transfer from a carotenoid, siphonaxanthin to chlorophyll a observed in a deep-water species of chlorophycean seaweed. Plant Cell Physiol 18:477–480CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. La HJ, Seo SH, Lee JY, Lee CS, Kim BH, Srivastava A, Han MS, Oh HM (2016) Improved mixing efficiency and biomass productivity of Ettlia sp. in co-cultivation system with loaches. Algal Res 17:300–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Liang Y, Sarkany N, Cui Y (2009) Biomass and lipid productivities of Chlorella vulgaris under autotrophic, heterotrophic and mixotrophic growth conditions. Biotechnol Lett 31:1043–1049CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mattos ER, Singh M, Cabrera ML, Das KC (2015) Enhancement of biomass production in Scenedesmus bijuga high-density culture using weakly absorbed green light. Biomass Bioenergy 81:473–478CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mohsenpour SF, Willoughby N (2013) Luminescent photobioreactor design for improved algal growth and photosynthetic pigment production through spectral conversion of light. Bioresour Technol 142:147–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ostroumov EE, Mulvaney RM, Cogdell RJ, Scholes GD (2013) Broadband 2D electronic spectroscopy reveals a carotenoid dark state in purple bacteria. Science 340:52–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ravelonandro PH, Ratianarivo DH, Joannis-Cassan C, Isambert A, Raherimandimby M (2008) Influence of light quality and intensity in the cultivation of Spirulina platensis from Toliara (Madagascar) in a closed system. J Chem Technol Biotechnol 83:842–848CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ritchie RJ, Larkum AWD (2012) Modelling photosynthesis in shallow algal production ponds. Photosynthetica 50:481–500CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Rocap G, Larimer FW, Lamerdin J, Malfatti S, Chain P, Ahlgren NA, Arellano A, Coleman M, Hauser L, Hess WR, Johnson ZI, Land M, Lindell D, Post AF, Regala W, Shah M, Shaw SL, Steglich C, Sullivan MB, Ting CS, Tolonen A, Webb EA, Zinser ER, Chisholm SW (2003) Genome divergence in two Prochlorococcus ecotypes reflects oceanic niche differentiation. Nature 424:1042–1047CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Saha SK, McHugh E, Hayes J, Moane S, Walsh D, Murray P (2013) Effect of various stress-regulatory factors on biomass and lipid production in microalga Haematococcus pluvialis. Bioresour Technol 128:118–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sarrafzadeh MH, La HJ, Seo SH, Asgharnejad H, Oh HM (2015) Evaluation of various techniques for microalgal biomass quantification. J Biotechnol 216:90–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Scott SA, Davey MP, Dennis JS, Horst I, Howe CJ, Lea-Smith DJ, Smith AG (2010) Biodiesel from algae: challenges and prospects. Curr Opin Biotechnol 21:277–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Seo SH, Ha JS, Yoo C, Srivastava A, Ahn CY, Cho DH, La HJ, Han MS, Oh HM (2017) Light intensity as major factor to maximize biomass and lipid productivity of Ettlia sp. in CO2-controlled photoautotrophic chemostat. Bioresour Technol 244:621–628CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Stanier RY, Kunisawa R, Mandel M, Cohen-Bazire G (1971) Purification and properties of unicellular blue-green algae (order Chroococcales). Bacteriol Rev 35:171–205PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  27. Sun J, Nishio JN, Vogelmann TC (1998) Green light drives CO2 fixation deep within leaves. Plant Cell Physiol 39:1020–1026CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Szwaja S, Dębowski M, Zieliński M, Kisielewska M, Stańczyk-Mazanek E, Sikorska M (2016) Influence of a light source on microalgae growth and subsequent anaerobic digestion of harvested biomass. Biomass Bioenergy 91:243–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Tamburic B, Szabó M, Tran NAT, Larkum AW, Suggett DJ, Ralph PJ (2014) Action spectra of oxygen production and chlorophyll fluorescence in the green microalga Nannochloropsis oculata. Bioresour Technol 169:320–327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Terashima I, Fujita T, Inoue T, Chow WS, Oguchi R (2009) Green light drives leaf photosynthesis more efficiently than red light in strong white light: revisiting the enigmatic question of why leaves are green. Plant Cell Physiol 50:684–697CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Vadiveloo A, Moheimani NR, Cosgrove JJ, Bahri PA, Parlevliet D (2015) Effect of different light spectra on the growth and productivity of acclimated Nannochloropsis sp. (Eustigmatophyceae). Algal Res 8:121–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wellburn AR (1994) The spectral determination of chlorophylls a and b, as well as total carotenoids, using various solvents with spectrophotometers of different resolution. J Plant Physiol 144:307–313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Yan C, Zhang L, Luo X, Zheng Z (2013) Effects of various LED light wavelengths and intensities on the performance of purifying synthetic domestic sewage by microalgae at different influent C/N ratios. Ecol Eng 51:24–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Yoo C, Choi GG, Kim SC, Oh HM (2013) Ettlia sp. YC001 showing high growth rate and lipid content under high CO2. Bioresour Technol 127:482–488CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. You T, Barnett SM (2004) Effect of light quality on production of extracellular polysaccharides and growth rate of Porphyridium cruentum. Biochem Eng J 19:251–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Young AJ, Frank HA (1996) Energy transfer reactions involving carotenoids: quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence. J Photochem Photobiol B 36:3–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Yu J, Wang P, Wang Y, Chang J, Deng S, Wei W (2018) Thermal constraints on growth, stoichiometry and lipid content of different groups of microalgae with bioenergy potential. J Appl Phycol 30:1503–1512CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cell Factory Research CenterKorea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB)DaejeonRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Biological Sciences, School of Biological Sciences and BiotechnologyChungnam National University (CNU)DaejeonRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Culture Collection Team, Freshwater Bioresources Culture Research DivisionNakdonggang National Institute of Biological ResourcesSangjuRepublic of Korea

Personalised recommendations