Sustainable hydrogen production in the Cyanobacterium Nostoc sp. ARM 411 grown in fructose- and magnesium sulphate-enriched culture

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Abstract

We show that high levels of both carbon sources (sugars) and cations (notably magnesium) in the growth medium enhance the frequency of heterocyst formation by three-fold over the control in Nostoc sp. Such an alteration in the frequency and in enzyme activity (hydrogenase and nitrogenase), induced a proportional increase in hydrogen evolution capacity under a variety of conditions. Nitrogenase and hydrogenase activity also showed an increase in the enriched cultures. Our results therefore suggest that enriching the Nostoc culture with some selected carbon source or a low cost inorganic source like magnesium would result in a high yield of heterocysts in heterocystous cyanobacteria which would be helpful in the production of sustainable bio-fuels.

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