Sugar, Who?: The Effects of Dextrose on Picocholorum oklahomense Cell Density and Dry Weight.

Emery Roberts, Sarah Winburn, Ashlee Milenski, Sidney Perdue, Lincoln Muller


Algae is a strong focus in biofuel research, as it can grow quickly in all aquatic systems (French 2019) ­– while algae are naturally a fast-growing eukaryote, researchers want to investigate methods that increase and maximize growth rates. Picochlorum oklahomense, the algae our project is researching, does not have a lot of research pertaining to the relationship between the addition of sugar to the growth media and cell production, so we wanted to test this possible relationship to help researchers gain a greater knowledge of algal growth. Our team hypothesized that the algal growth in samples containing sugar would be higher than samples that contained a generic growth media solution due to the addition of a material that is directly harvested during cellular respiration. To test this possible relationship, we set up a trial containing four water bottle photobioreactors – two of the bottles served as control groups that did not contain dextrose while the remaining two bottles served as our experimental groups containing 1.0 grams of sugar. After running this experiment two times, we found that the control groups averaged more cells than the experimental group.

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