Microalgae have a high potential to be utilized as feedstock for biofuels because they have high growth rates and do not compromise food production. Commercialized algae-based biofuel production relies on the development of strains with high lipid content. Based on the relatively low density of lipids compared to other cellular components, density gradient centrifugation was used to isolate high lipid content algal strains from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii mutant libraries. The correlation between cell density and lipid content was confirmed by analysis of Nile red fluorescence intensity, total lipids, and total fatty acid methyl ester content. A strain isolated by this screening method had 50% higher lipid content and 7% lower cell density than the parent wild-type strain. Consequently, we demonstrated that screening of algal strains with low cell density via continuous density gradient centrifugation allows simple, rapid, and inexpensive screening for high lipid content strains.
- cell screening system
- density gradient centrifugation
- high lipid content strain
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology