Effects of nutritional conditions on lipid production by cyanobacteria

ABSTRACT The present study evaluated the effects of the culturing media and the levels of nitrogen and phosphorus on the growth, biomass productivity and lipid production of four species of Microcystis (M. novacekii, M. aeruginosa, M panniformis and M. protocystis). The lipid extract was obtained by refluxing with dichloromethane (Soxhlet). The biomass and biomass productivity yields were maximized with ASM-1 medium treatment enriched with nitrogen and/or phosphorus (0.25-0.65 g/L and 25-50.7 mg/L d-1, respectively). The lipid extract yields from M. panniformis and M. novacekii were inversely correlated with the concentration of nitrogen and directly correlated with the concentration of phosphorus (35.8 % and 31.7 %). The lipid extract yield from M. aeruginosa was inversely correlated with the nutrient concentration (23.3 %). M. protocystis exhibited a higher lipid content in the control medium (41.5 %) than in the nitrogen-enriched media. The recorded results show that a nutrient-poor culture medium favours cell growth and stimulates lipid accumulation, which directly affects the cost of cultivation by reducing nutrient consumption. All studied species may serve as biomass sources for biodiesel production, although M. protocystis exhibited the highest lipid production. Further studies are necessary to determine the composition of the recorded lipid extract.