Growth and fatty acid composition of Acutodesmus obliquus under different light spectra and temperatures

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The combined impact of temperature and light spectra on the fatty acid (FA) composition in microalgae has been sparsely investigated. The aim of this study was to investigate the interactions of light and temperature on the FA composition in Acutodesmus obliquus. For this purpose, A. obliquus was cultivated with different temperatures (20, 30, and 35°C), as well as broad light spectra (blue, green, and red light). Growth and FA composition were monitored daily. Microalgal FA were extracted, and a qualitative characterization was done by gas chromatography coupled with electron impact ionization mass spectrometry (GC-EI/MS). Compared to red light, green and blue light caused a higher percentage of the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) 16:4, 18:3, and 18:4, at all temperatures. The highest total percentage of these PUFA were observed at the lowest cultivation temperature and blue and green light. These data imply that a combination of lower temperatures and blue-green light (450–550 nm) positively influences the activity of specific FA-desaturases in A. obliquus. Additionally, a lower 16:1 trans/cis ratio was observed upon green and blue light treatment and lower cultivation temperatures. Remarkably, green light treatment resulted in a comparably high growth under all tested conditions. Therefore, a higher content of green light, compared to blue light might additionally lead to a higher biomass concentration. Microalgae cultivation with low temperatures and green light might therefore result in a suitable FA composition for the food industry and a comparably high biomass production.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)485-498
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 09.2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We want to thank PD Dr. Klaus von Schwartzenberg and the staff of the Microalgae and Zygnematophyceae Collection Hamburg (MZCH, previously SVCK) microalgae collection of the University of Hamburg for giving us the chance to work with one of their microalgae strains. A special thanks goes to Christoph Stegen of the technical support team of the Leuphana University Lüneburg. Thanks to his excellent technical support and expertise we were able to improve our experimental setup for the microalgae cultivation. The authors thank Josi Steinke and Hannes Diers for their contribution in the microalgae cultivations and the sample preparations.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Lipids published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Oil Chemists' Society

    Research areas

  • blue-green light, cis-trans isomers, fatty acid desaturases, microalgae, polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • Chemistry