Date of Degree

9-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Biology

Advisor

Jurgen Polle

Committee Members

Amy Litt

Mateo Pellegrini

Louis Bradbury

Theodore Muth

Mara Schvarzstein

Subject Categories

Agricultural Science | Agriculture | Plant Sciences

Keywords

Agrobacterium; Algae; bacteria; Biofuels; bioprospecting; lipids

Abstract

This thesis is part of an effort to advance microalgae cultivation for biofuel and high value products. The first chapters describe a large scale screening effort in which novel strains that hold great promise in large outdoor cultivation systems were isolated. Among these are strains of Scenedesmus obliquus, Borodinellopsis texensis, Chlorella sorokiniana, Ankistrodesmus, Coelastrella, and a previously uncharacterized species in the Chlamydomonadales. These species are characterized in terms of their phylogenetic relationship, biomass productivity, and, for some, lipid and carotenoid profiles under growth and stress conditions. Also discussed in regards to growth metabolism and oil productivity is a unique enzymatic characteristic found in S. obliquus, the presences of a chloroplast localized enolase. Lastly, we demonstrate a novel bacteria-algae mutualistic relationship that may be of particular interest in cultivating microalgae in wastewater. Overall, the work advances algae productivity with algal species and bacteria that may be extended further upon to push forward the field of algae biofuel production.

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