Do phycosphere-associated bacteria affect the growth and lipid production of phaeodactylum tricornutum bohlin?
Chorazyczewski, Adam M.
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Microalgae biofuels are a promising alternative to fossil fuel energy. However current microalgal biofuel production is inefficient making it more expensive than fossil fuels. To make microalgal biofuels a realistic alternative energy source, improvements are needed in the production of microalgae biomass. Phycosphere-associated bacteria are known to influence microalgae growth and metabolite production. Understanding these interactions could provide new methods for enhancing microalgae biomass and improving the efficiency of producing microalgae biofuels. Co-cultures of Phaeodactylum tricornutum Bohlin and single bacterial species were compared to determine what impact phycosphere-associated bacteria can have on microalgae. Growth rates, total lipid accumulation and fatty acid profiles for each co-culture were compared to an axenic culture of P. tricornutum to assess the impact of the bacterial association. Marinobacter 3-2 significantly increased the lipid accumulation of P. tricornutum during early exponential growth. Two bacterial strains, Algoriphagus ARW1R1 and Muricauda ARW1Y1, significantly lowered the maximum growth rate and cell densities of P. tricornutum in early and late exponential growth. Lower cell densities in these co-cultures resulted in lower lipid accumulation. Our results suggest that co-culturing P. tricornutum with a phycosphere-associated bacterial species, Marinobacter 3-2, could help improve the efficiency of producing algal biomass and lipids.