Comparison of biomass production and total lipid content of freshwater green microalgae cultivated under various culture conditions

Bioprocess Biosyst Eng. 2014 Feb;37(2):99-106. doi: 10.1007/s00449-013-0920-8. Epub 2013 May 3.


The growth and total lipid content of four green microalgae (Chlorella sp., Chlorella vulgaris CCAP211/11B, Botryococcus braunii FC124 and Scenedesmus obliquus R8) were investigated under different culture conditions. Among the various carbon sources tested, glucose produced the largest biomass or microalgae grown heterotrophically. It was found that 1% (w/v) glucose was actively utilized by Chlorella sp., C. vulgaris CCAP211/11B and B. braunii FC124, whereas S. obliquus R8 preferred 2% (w/v) glucose. No significant difference in biomass production was noted between heterotrophic and mixotrophic (heterotrophic with light illumination/exposure) growth conditions, however, less production was observed for autotrophic cultivation. Total lipid content in cells increased by approximately two-fold under mixotrophic cultivation with respect to heterotrophic and autotrophic cultivation. In addition, light intensity had an impact on microalgal growth and total lipid content. The highest total lipid content was observed at 100 μmol m(-2)s(-1) for Chlorella sp. (22.5%) and S. obliquus R8 (23.7%) and 80 μmol m(-2)s(-1) for C. vulgaris CCAP211/11B (20.1%) and B. braunii FC124 (34.9%).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomass*
  • Chlorophyta / classification
  • Chlorophyta / metabolism*
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Light
  • Lipids / analysis*
  • Species Specificity


  • Lipids
  • Glucose