AB 22:123-140 (2014)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00597

Photosynthesis monitoring to optimize growth of microalgal mass cultures: application of chlorophyll fluorescence techniques

José R. F. Malapascua1,2, Celia G. Jerez3, Magda Sergejevová1, Félix L. Figueroa3, Jiří Masojídek1,2,*

1Laboratory of Algal Biotechnology, Institute of Microbiology, Academy of Science, Opatovický mlýn, 37981 Těeboň, Czech Republic
2Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, Branišovská, 37005 Ĉeské Budějovice, Czech Republic
3Department of Ecology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Málaga, Campus Universitario de Teatinos s/n, 29071 Málaga, Spain
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Since the mid-1990s, chlorophyll a (chl a) fluorescence measurement has become widespread to monitor photosynthetic performance of microalgal mass cultures. This paper aims to provide practical instructions for microalgal physiologists and biotechnologists on how fluorescence monitoring can be used to explain changes in photosynthetic activity of microalgal mass cultures. Emphasis is placed on the 2 most common fluorescence techniques—pulse-amplitude-modulation and fluorescence induction kinetics—and the interpretation of important variables that reflect changes of photosynthesis and physiological status of microalgal cultures. In particular, consideration is given to problems associated with the estimation of the photochemical yield of photosystem II and its relationship to linear electron transport rate and overall photosynthesis. Emphasis is also given to the applications and limitations of these techniques through several case studies. In model experiments with microalgal cultures, typical records and their interpretation under various culture conditions are illustrated. Changes of photosynthetic activity and selected variables monitored by chl a fluorescence techniques can thus be related to changes of cultivation conditions, physiological status and growth of microalgal cultures for a given microalgal strain and cultivation system. In this way, chl a fluorescence may be used as a rapid screening technique to monitor photosynthetic activity and subsequently to estimate growth rate in both indoor and outdoor studies. This text and results formed the basis of a key lecture at the 9th International GAP workshop held at the University of Málaga in September 2012.


KEY WORDS: Biomass · Chlorophyll fluorescence · Growth · Light-response curve · Microalga · OJIP curves · Productivity · Photosynthesis · Pulse-amplitude modulation (PAM)


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Cite this article as: Malapascua JRF, Jerez CG, Sergejevová M, Figueroa FL, Masojídek J (2014) Photosynthesis monitoring to optimize growth of microalgal mass cultures: application of chlorophyll fluorescence techniques. Aquat Biol 22:123-140. https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00597

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