Screening indigenous microalgae strains for outdoor production of secondary carotenoids and fatty acids

Emanuel D Xavier., José MN Azevedo., Alberto Reis and Ana I Neto

The exploration of indigenous microalgae species with biotechnological potential is growing due to advantages in their use. In this context five locally isolated species of microalgae were screened for secondary carotenoid and fatty acids production. The species were cultivated outdoors in cylindrical vertical photobioreactors to evaluate their growth potential and analyze the composition of the biomass produced in terms of fatty acids and secondary carotenoids. As expected, summer was the most productive season for all the evaluated parameters. Scenedesmus spinosus presented the maximum specific growth rate, but Chlorococcum sp. was the most interesting strain due to its high production of both unsaturated fatty acids and secondary carotenoids. The values obtained compared favorably with those of commercially used strains suggesting that prospection and screening of indigenous strains for outdoor production has good potential to detect microalgae with industrial applications.

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