Cultivating Microalgae in Desert Conditions: Evaluation of the Effect of Light-Temperature Summer Conditions on the Growth and Metabolism of Nannochloropsis QU130

Hareb Al Jabri, Aumaya Taleb, Raphaelle Touchard, Imen Saadaoui, Vincent Goetz, Jeremy Pruvost
2021 Applied Sciences  
Temperature and light are two of the most crucial factors for microalgae production. Variations in these factors alter their growth kinetics, macromolecular composition and physiological properties, including cell membrane permeability and fluidity. The variations define the adaptation mechanisms adopted by the microalgae to withstand changes in these environmental factors. In the Qatar desert the temperature varies widely, typically between 10° and 45 °C There are also wide variations in light
more » ... intensity, with values of over 1500 μmolhν.m−2s−1 in summer. A study of the effects of these thermal and light fluctuations is therefore essential for large-scale outdoor production systems, especially during the summer when temperature and light fluctuations are at their highest. The aim of this work is to study the impact of temperature and light intensity variations as encountered in summer period on the Nannochloropsis QU130 strain, which was selected for its suitability for outdoor cultivation in the harsh conditions of the Qatar desert. It was carried out using lab-scale photobioreactors enabling simulation of both constant and dynamic temperature and light regimes. Biomass productivity, cell morphology and biochemical compositions were examined first in constant conditions, then in typical outdoor cultivation conditions to elucidate the adjustments in cell function in respect of fluctuations. The dynamic light and temperature were shown to have interactive effects. The application of temperature cycles under constant light led to a 13.6% increase in biomass productivity, while a 45% decrease was observed under light and temperature regimes due to the combined stress. In all cases, the results proved that N. sp. QU130 has a high level of adaptation to the wide fluctuations in light and temperature stress. This was shown through its ability to easily change its physiology (cell size) and metabolic process in response to different cultivation conditions.
doi:10.3390/app11093799 fatcat:ixhka4zzzjdixjvpaojwhasqtm