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1 January 2014 Rapid Procedure for Separating High-Lipid Containing Chlorella sp.
Vilmaris Bracero, William Rosado, Nadathur S. Govind
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Lipids from microalgae are a suitable feedstock for biofuel production. Some algal strains can produce up to 60% of their weight in lipids under favorable growth conditions, a trait that could be desirable for fuel production. In order to accelerate the screening process of high lipid containing microalgae a procedure combining Percoll density gradient and Nile red spectrofluorometry was evaluated. Native Chlorella sp. was grown under nitrogen-replete (2.94mM) and nitrogen deplete (1 mM) conditions. Cells were separated by buoyant density on a Percoll step gradient (100, 80, 60 and 10% v/v) and lipid content of the bands was estimated by measuring emitted fluorescence using Nile red spectrofluorometry. Cultures with increased lipid production (nitrogen depletion) generated lipid peaks (∼570nm) and reached equilibrium at 10% Percoll whereas cells with low lipid content (nitrogen sufficiency) emitted no fluorescence and layered at 80% Percoll. The difference in banding pattern indicates that cell buoyant density is due to lipid content. This method is a practical tool for rapid screening of high lipid containing microalgae.

2014 Copyright 2014 College of Arts and Sciences University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez
Vilmaris Bracero, William Rosado, and Nadathur S. Govind "Rapid Procedure for Separating High-Lipid Containing Chlorella sp.," Caribbean Journal of Science 48(1), 76-80, (1 January 2014).
Published: 1 January 2014

Chlorella sp.
lipid content in microalgae
microalgae buoyant density
Nile red fluorescence
Percoll separation
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