Autotrophic hydrogen photoproduction by operation of carbon-concentrating mechanism in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii under sulfur deprivation condition

Min Eui Hong, Ye Sol Shin, Byung Woo Kim, Sang Jun Sim

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Under autotrophic conditions, starch plays an important role in establishing anoxic conditions during PSII-dependent hydrogen (H2) photoproduction in microalgae. This is because starch is the sole organic substrate during respiratory consumption of internal oxygen (O2) from PSII-dependent direct pathway. Herein, we propose a novel approach to further facilitate the internal starch synthesis of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii through the operation of carbon-concentrating mechanism (CCM) along with a two-stage process based on sulfur (S) deprivation, thereby resulting in enhanced anaerobic capacity during PSII-dependent H2 photoproduction. When CCM-induced cells were exposed to high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) (5%, v/v) with S deprivation, internal levels of starch were significantly elevated by retaining a functional CCM with the boosted photosynthetic activity during 24h of O2 evolution phase (I) of S deprivation. Consequently, during H2 production phase of S deprivation at irradiance of 50μEm-2s-1, the concentrations of starch and H2 in CCM-induced cells were remarkably enhanced by 65.0% and 218.9% compared to that of CCM-uninduced cells, respectively. The treatment of low-CO2-driven CCM induction prior to S deprivation is a cost-effective and energy-efficient strategy that significantly improves the solar-driven H2 production by microalgae; this is particularly realizable in an industrial scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-61
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biotechnology
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 10



  • Autotrophic H photoproduction
  • CCM induction
  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
  • S deprivation
  • Starch accumulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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