Improving protein production of indigenous microalga Chlorella vulgaris FSP-E by photobioreactor design and cultivation strategies

Chun Yen Chen, Po Jen Lee, Chung Hong Tan, Yung Chung Lo, Chieh Chen Huang, Pau Loke Show, Chih Hung Lin, Jo Shu Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Fish meal is currently the major protein source for commercial aquaculture feed. Due to its unstable supply and increasing price, fish meal is becoming more expensive and its availability is expected to face significant challenges in the near future. Therefore, feasible alternatives to fish meal are urgently required. Microalgae have been recognized as the most promising candidates to replace fish meal because the protein composition of microalgae is similar to fish meal and the supply of microalgae-based proteins is sustainable. In this study, an indigenous microalga (Chlorella vulgaris FSP-E) with high protein content was selected, and its feasibility as an aquaculture protein source was explored. An innovative photobioreactor (PBR) utilizing cold cathode fluorescent lamps as an internal light source was designed to cultivate the FSP-E strain for protein production. This PBR could achieve a maximum biomass and protein productivity of 699 and 365 mg/L/day, respectively, under an optimum urea and iron concentration of 12.4 mM and 90 μM, respectively. In addition, amino acid analysis of the microalgal protein showed that up to 70% of the proteins in this microalgal strain consist of indispensable amino acids. Thus, C. vulgaris FSP-E appears to be a viable alternative protein source for the aquaculture industry.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)905-914
Number of pages10
JournalBiotechnology Journal
Volume10
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2015

Keywords

  • Chlorella vulgaris
  • Iron ions
  • Photobioreactor
  • Protein
  • Urea

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