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Aquatic Microbial Ecology

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AME 56:309-322 (2009)  -  DOI:

Short-term variations in photosynthetic parameters of Nannochloropsis cultures grown in two types of outdoor mass cultivation systems

Jacco C. Kromkamp1,*, John Beardall2, Assaf Sukenik3, Jiři Kopecký4, Jiři Masojídek5, Stef van Bergeijk6, Shai Gabai7, Efrat Shaham7, Amir Yamshon7

1Netherlands Institute of Ecology, Centre for Estuarine and Marine Ecology (NIOO-CEME), PO Box 140, 4400 AC Yerseke, The Netherlands
2School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Wellington Road, Clayton, Victoria 3800, Australia
3Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research, Yigal Allon Kinneret Limnological Laboratory, PO Box 447, 14950 Migdal, Israel
4Institute of Physical Biology, University of South Bohemia, Zámek 136, 37333 Nové Hrady, Czech Republic
5Institute of Microbiology, Academy of Sciences, Opatovický mlýn, 37981 Tŕeboň, Czech Republic
6IFAPA Centro El Toruño Ctra. N IV Madrid-Cádiz, km 654a Camino de Tiro Pichón, 11500 El Puerto de Santa María, Spain
7The Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel

ABSTRACT: The present study evaluated productivity under different operational (optical) conditions using the unicellular alga Nannochloropsis sp. (Eustigmatophyta). This alga is often grown in mass algal cultures because it contains high contents of the polyunsaturated fatty acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5ω3). We followed biomass, photosynthetic activities and physiological parameters in a 3 d experiment using various photosynthesis techniques in 2 outdoor cultivation systems: a flat panel photobioreactor (FPP) and a high rate algal pond (HRAP). We aimed to detect acclimation behaviour to the different optical conditions, with the FPP having a short light path and the HRAP having a long light path. Both algae cultures showed an afternoon depression of photosynthetic activity, which was more pronounced in the FPP. Therefore, the HRAP culture showed ‘classical’ shade adaptation behaviour, whereas the FPP algae was high-light acclimated. The FPP showed diurnal changes in the potential rates of photosynthesis and respiration. High temperatures (41°C) on Day 3 in the FPP caused a large reduction in the maximum Photosystem II (PSII) efficiency (Fv/Fm) and an over-reduction of the PSII acceptors, which did not recover during the light period. Chlorophyll fluorescence measurements with and without dark adaptation suggested that the decreased photosynthetic activity was due to both chronic and dynamic downregulation. Photodamage was higher in the FPP, but most was recovered during the evening. A comparison between the quantum efficiencies for PSII charge separation and oxygen evolution revealed a close coupling between the 2 processes. We also concluded that the optical absorption cross section of PSII equalled 75% of the total absorption cross section.

KEY WORDS: Environmental stress · Flat panel photobioreactor · High rate algal pond · Nannochlopsis · Mass culture · Photosynthetic rate · Chlorophyll fluorescence  · Quantum efficiency

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Cite this article as: Kromkamp JC, Beardall J, Sukenik A, Kopecký J and others (2009) Short-term variations in photosynthetic parameters of Nannochloropsis cultures grown in two types of outdoor mass cultivation systems. Aquat Microb Ecol 56:309-322.

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