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Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Cold stress stimulates algae to produce value-added compounds

Lindberg, A.; Niemi, C.; Takahashi, J.; Sellstedt, A.; Gentili, F. G.


Two cold-tolerant microalgae, Chlorella vulgaris and Scenedesmus sp., were grown at 22 and 5 degrees C. At the lower temperature, the microalgae showed substantial biochemical and morphological changes. The soluble sugar profile in response to low-temperature cultivation was very different in the two strains. C. vulgaris increased both the sucrose and raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFOs) content at 5 degrees C while Scenedesmus sp. drastically reduced the sucrose content. Both strains increased the total fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) content when grown at 5 degrees C. However, the FAME profiles were very different: C. vulgaris mainly increased C18:1 and less so C18:3, while Scenedesmus sp. decreased C18:1 but greatly increased C18:3. The morphology of C. vulgaris changed slightly at the lower temperature, while Scenedesmus sp. showed substantial changes in the size and shape. Low temperature triggered the synthesis of unsaturated fatty acids that are essential for human nutrition.


Cold tolerant; Fatty acids; Microalgae; Raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFOs); Soluble sugars

Published in

Bioresource technology reports
2022, Volume: 19, article number: 101145
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd