Modulated stress to balance Nannochloropsis oculata growth and eicosapentaenoic acid production

Sérgio Sousa, Ana C. Freitas, Ana M. Gomes*, Ana P. Carvalho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Two environmental parameters, temperature and light intensity, were independently used as stress modulators to enhance eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) production by the microalga Nannochloropsis oculata, without hindering biomass production. A sinusoidal approach was used, as environmental conditions were alternated between optimum and stress status in multi-day cycles. Low temperatures (5 and 10 °C) and light intensities (30 and 50 μmol photons/m2/s) were tested. Results revealed that the modulated stress approach used was able to avoid decreases in biomass production. Temperature stress (10 °C) presented the highest impact, increasing EPA content to 12.8 mgEPA/L, 158% more than the amount obtained in optimum (non-modulated) growth conditions at that point in time, while the lower light intensity stress was able to increase to 126% more. It is important to point out that in both cases increases in EPA amounts resulted from increased content in each individual cell and not just from increased biomass contents. Key points: • Temperature stress (10 °C) presented the highest impact increasing EPA content 158% • Lower light intensity stress was able to increase EPA to 126% more • EPA increased in individual cell contents simultaneous with biomass increase.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4017-4027
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Volume106
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2022

Keywords

  • Abiotic factors
  • Light intensity
  • Microalgae
  • Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • Temperature

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