An increasing number of investors is looking at algae as a viable source of biofuels, beside cultivation for human/animal feeding or to extract high-value chemicals and pharmaceuticals. However, present biomass productivities are far below theoretical estimations implying that a large part of the available photosynthetically active radiation is not used in photosynthesis. Light utilisation inefficiency and rapid light attenuation within a mass culture due to high pigment optical density of wild type strains have been proposed as major limiting factors reducing solar-to-biomass conversion efficiency. Analysis of growth yields of mutants with reduced light-harvesting antennae and/or reduced overall pigment concentration per cell, generated by either mutagenesis or genetic engineering, could help understanding limiting factors for biomass accumulation in photobioreactor. Meanwhile, studies on photo-acclimation can provide additional information on the average status of algal cells in a photobioreactor to be used in modelling-based predictions. Identifying limiting factors in solar-to-biomass conversion efficiency is the first step for planning strategies of genetic improvement and domestication of algae to finally fill the gap between theoretical and industrial photosynthetic productivity.

Regulation of the pigment optical density of an algal cell: Filling the gap between photosynthetic productivity in the laboratory and in mass culture.

FORMIGHIERI, Cinzia;BASSI, Roberto
2012

Abstract

An increasing number of investors is looking at algae as a viable source of biofuels, beside cultivation for human/animal feeding or to extract high-value chemicals and pharmaceuticals. However, present biomass productivities are far below theoretical estimations implying that a large part of the available photosynthetically active radiation is not used in photosynthesis. Light utilisation inefficiency and rapid light attenuation within a mass culture due to high pigment optical density of wild type strains have been proposed as major limiting factors reducing solar-to-biomass conversion efficiency. Analysis of growth yields of mutants with reduced light-harvesting antennae and/or reduced overall pigment concentration per cell, generated by either mutagenesis or genetic engineering, could help understanding limiting factors for biomass accumulation in photobioreactor. Meanwhile, studies on photo-acclimation can provide additional information on the average status of algal cells in a photobioreactor to be used in modelling-based predictions. Identifying limiting factors in solar-to-biomass conversion efficiency is the first step for planning strategies of genetic improvement and domestication of algae to finally fill the gap between theoretical and industrial photosynthetic productivity.
photosynthetic productivity
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/431494
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