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Understanding nutrient uptake by microalgae cultivated in VEAS effluent

Experimental setup
Experimental setup

The year has just started and NIVA is already working hard on unraveling microalgae's nutritional consumption when growing in VEAS effluent. This experiment aimed to identify the limiting nutrients in co-culture (Stigeoclonium sp. and Oedogonium vaucheri) cultivation.

Algae can store excess nutrients within the cells, which can be further utilized when external sources are limited. Through multiple rounds of co-culture cultivation, we aim to deplete co-culture internal reserves, which will further allow us to infer about the consumption of the external nutritional sources. The co-culture offers an extra challenge in terms of identifying specifically how the individual strains are reacting.

Currently (January 2024), NIVA is studying the individual strain growth rate by using the approach mentioned above. Monocultures and co-culture are both being cultivated in VEAS effluent standard growth medium with nutrient excess. The results obtained will allow us to infer how both mono and co-cultures utilize the extracellular nutrients, as well as their response in nutrient-limiting conditions. Biomass samples will be taken out at the end of each round for further biomass biochemical analysis.

At NIVA, we are curious and looking forward to the results! This will represent a big step in understanding the co-culture biological and chemical dynamics, and how that translates to an efficient nutrient uptake. Check our updates for further information!


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