AB 22:111-122 (2014)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00603

Hydrodynamics and photosynthesis performance of Chlorella fusca (Chlorophyta) grown in a thin-layer cascade (TLC) system

Celia G. Jerez1,*, Enrique Navarro2, Irene Malpartida1, Rosa M. Rico1, Jiří Masojídek3,4, Roberto Abdala1, Félix L. Figueroa1

1Departamento de Ecología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, Campus Universitario de Teatinos s/n, 29071 Málaga, Spain
2Pirenaic Institute of Ecology (CSIC),Campus de Aula Dei, Avda. Montañana 1005, 50059 Zaragoza, Spain
3Laboratory of Algal Biotechnology, Institute of Microbiology, Academy of Science, Opatovický mlýn, 37981 Třeboň, Czech Republic
4Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, 37005 České Budějovice, Czech Republic
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The thin-layer cascade (TLC) system is an open system for microalgae cultivation composed of a retention tank connected by pump and pipes to a horizontal exposed area that consists of an upper basin and a TLC. Light and hydrodynamics are different among compartments, so overall photosynthetic activity can be influenced by the retention time of the cells in each compartment. We established 2 settings with different retention times in the cascade and tank to compare the photosynthetic activity of Chlorella fusca (Chlorophyta) among compartments. Changes in the retention time were achieved using 2 layer thicknesses in the cascade: 8 and 18 mm. Retention time in the cascade represented about 16 and 34% of the duration of a whole system cycle when H1 (8 mm thickness) and H2 (18 mm thickness) units, respectively, were used. These retention periods were lower than those in the tank (67 and 49%, respectively) but higher than those in the basin (12% for both H1 and H2). Photosynthetic activity was measured in situ as relative electron transport rate (rETR) using a pulse-amplitude modulated fluorometer. In both setups, the highest rETR was reached in the cascade. The increase of the layer thickness was a good option to avoid photoinhibition. We suggest estimating the mean rETR of the whole system considering the retention time, since it can better reflect overall growth because it takes into account the time that the cells spend in each compartment. These results are useful for optimization of photosynthetic activity and growth of outdoor microalgae mass cultures in TLCs for biotechnological purposes.

KEY WORDS: Chlorella fusca · In vivo chlorophyll fluorescence · Photosynthesis · Productivity · Relative electron transport rate · Thin-layer cascade · Microalgae · Photobioreactor

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Cite this article as: Jerez CG, Navarro E, Malpartida I, Rico RM, Masojídek J, Abdala R, Figueroa FL (2014) Hydrodynamics and photosynthesis performance of Chlorella fusca (Chlorophyta) grown in a thin-layer cascade (TLC) system. Aquat Biol 22:111-122. https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00603

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