Impacts of CO2 concentration on growth, lipid accumulation, and carbon-concentrating-mechanism-related gene expression in oleaginous Chlorella.Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2015 Mar; 99(5):2451-62.AM
Biodiesel production by microalgae with photosynthetic CO2 biofixation is thought to be a feasible way in the field of bioenergy and carbon emission reduction. Knowledge of the carbon-concentrating mechanism plays an important role in improving microalgae carbon fixation efficiency. However, little information is available regarding the dramatic changes of cells suffered upon different environmental factors, such as CO2 concentration. The aim of this study was to investigate the growth, lipid accumulation, carbon fixation rate, and carbon metabolism gene expression under different CO2 concentrations in oleaginous Chlorella. It was found that Chlorella pyrenoidosa grew well under CO2 concentrations ranging from 1 to 20 %. The highest biomass and lipid productivity were 4.3 g/L and 107 mg/L/day under 5 % CO2 condition. Switch from high (5 %) to low (0.03 %, air) CO2 concentration showed significant inhibitory effect on growth and CO2 fixation rate. The amount of the saturated fatty acids was increased obviously along with the transition. Low CO2 concentration (0.03 %) was suitable for the accumulation of saturated fatty acids. Reducing the CO2 concentration could significantly decrease the polyunsaturated degree in fatty acids. Moreover, the carbon-concentrating mechanism-related gene expression revealed that most of them, especially CAH2, LCIB, and HLA3, had remarkable change after 1, 4, and 24 h of the transition, which suggests that Chlorella has similar carbon-concentrating mechanism with Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The findings of the present study revealed that C. pyrenoidosa is an ideal candidate for mitigating CO2 and biodiesel production and is appropriate as a model for mechanism research of carbon sequestration.