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See detailScreening for a low-cost Haematococcus pluvialis medium reveals an unexpected impact of a low N:P ratio on vegetative growth
Tocquin, Pierre ULg; Fratamico, Anthony ULg; Franck, Fabrice ULg

in Journal of Applied Phycology (2012), 24(3), 365-373

Haematococcus pluvialis is the current better source of natural astaxanthin, a high-value carotenoid. Traditionally, the production process of astaxanthin by this algae is achieved by a two-stage system ... [more ▼]

Haematococcus pluvialis is the current better source of natural astaxanthin, a high-value carotenoid. Traditionally, the production process of astaxanthin by this algae is achieved by a two-stage system: during the first stage, vegetative “green” cells are produced and then converted, in the second stage, into cysts that accumulate astaxanthin. In this work, a medium screening strategy based on the mixing of a 3-component hydroponic fertilizer was applied to identify a new formulation optimized for the vegetative stage. A maximal and high cell density of 2 x 106 cells mL−1 was obtained in a medium containing a high level of phosphate relative to nitrate, resulting in a N:P ratio much lower than commonly used media for H. pluvialis. In this medium, cells remained at the vegetative and motile stage during a prolonged period of time. Both high cell density culture and motile stage persistence was proved to be related to the N:P feature of this medium. We conclude that the macrozoid stage of H. pluvialis is favored under high-P and low-N supply and that low-cost hydroponic fertilizers can be successfully used for achieving high density cultures of vegetative cells of H. pluvialis. [less ▲]

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See detailProcessing samples of benthic marine diatoms from Mediterranean oligotrophic areas
Vermeulen, Simon ULg; Lepoint, Gilles ULg; Gobert, Sylvie ULg

in Journal of Applied Phycology (2012), 24

The processing of benthic diatoms is tedious and involves several potentially damaging steps for cells. Although the preservation of siliceous frustules is of paramount importance in the implementation of ... [more ▼]

The processing of benthic diatoms is tedious and involves several potentially damaging steps for cells. Although the preservation of siliceous frustules is of paramount importance in the implementation of biotic indices, only few studies quantified treatment-induced cell losses. We assumed that commonly used treatments may lead to mechanical (centrifugation, sedimentation, boiling, sonication and mounting in Naphrax) and chemical (cold H2O2 digestion) damages on diatoms. We analysed the potential adverse effects of these treatments and the cleaning efficiency of H2O2 and incineration in order to find out the most suitable technique to process lightly silicified Mediterranean populations. Results showed that successive resuspensions of material after each concentration treatment (sedimentation and centrifugation) and low speed centrifugation did not alter the physical integrity of frustules. In contrast, boiling and sonication exhibited adverse effects especially on the preservation of large frustules and Naphrax mounting proved to be the most damaging step whatever the size of diatoms. For cleaning treatments, incineration provided the most satisfactory results and acted on a non-selective way as opposed to hydrogen peroxide which led to either a large number of non-cleaned frustules or dissolved valves. Our recommendations for processing samples of lightly silicified Mediterranean benthic diatoms include the use of low speed centrifugations, dehydration at room temperature, incineration and dry mounting. [less ▲]

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See detailGrowth, fluorescence, photosynthetic O-2 production and pigment content of salt adapted cultures of Arthrospira (Spirulina) platensis
Ben Dhiab, R.; Ben Ouada, H.; Boussetta, H. et al

in Journal of Applied Phycology (2007), 19(4), 293-301

The effect of salt concentration (NaCl) on growth, fluorescence, photosynthetic activities and pigment content of the cyanobacterium Arthrospira platensis has been investigated over 15 days. It has been ... [more ▼]

The effect of salt concentration (NaCl) on growth, fluorescence, photosynthetic activities and pigment content of the cyanobacterium Arthrospira platensis has been investigated over 15 days. It has been observed that high NaCl concentration induces an increase of the growth, photosynthetic efficiency (alpha), phycobilin/chlorophyll ratio and a slight decrease of dark respiration and compensation points. Moreover, high NaCl concentration enhances photosystem II (PSII) activity compared to photosystem I (PSI). Results show that the phycobilin-PSII energy transfer compared to the chlorophyll-PSII (F-695,F-600/F-695,F-440) increases. However, data obtained about the maximal efficiency of PSII photochemistry are controversial. Indeed, the Fv/Fm ratio decreases in salt adapted cultures, while at the same time the trapping flux per PSII reaction center (TR0/RC) and the probability of electron transport beyond QA (Psi(0)) remain unchanged at the level of the donor and the acceptor sites of PSII. This effect can be attributed to the interference of phycobilin fluorescence with Chl a when performing polyphasic transient measurements. [less ▲]

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