Low light intensity and nitrogen starvation modulate the chlorophyll content ofScenedesmus dimorphus

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Abstract

Aims:

Chlorophyll is a photosynthetic pigment found in plants and algal organisms and is a bioproduct with human health benefits and a great potential for use in the food industry. The chlorophyll content in microalgae strains varies in response to environmental factors. In this work, we assessed the effect of nitrogen depletion and low light intensity on the chlorophyll content of the Scenedesmus dimorphus microalga.

Methods and Results:

The growth of S. dimorphus under low light intensity led to a reduction in cell growth and volume as well as increased cellular chlorophyll content. Nitrogen starvation led to a reduction in cell growth and the chlorophyll content, changes in the yield and productivity of chlorophylls a and b. Transmission electron microscopy was used to investigate the ultrastructural changes in the S. dimorphus exposed to nitrogen and light deficiency.

Conclusions:

In contrast to nitrogen depletion, low light availability was an effective mean for increasing the total chlorophyll content of green microalga S. dimorphus.

Significance and Impact of the Study:

The findings acquired in this work are of great biotechnological importance to extend knowledge of choosing the right culture condition to stimulate the effectiveness of microalgae strains for chlorophyll production purposes.

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