Effects of Salt Concentration on the Growth of Picochlorum oklahomense

Sean Uyeno, Bayley Wiemers, Sarah Stratmann, Xinyu Yu, John F Stewart


Biofuels are being developed to take the place of fossil fuels in transportation. Algae is a renewable resource currently being used to produce these biofuels. Picochlorum oklahomense is a species of algae that grows in a salty environment. By creating photobioreactor chambers, we were able to simulate 4 different salt concentrated environments to test which concentration P. oklahomense will favor more. State your hypothesis here. We found that 3% was the best salt concentration for cell count and chlorophyll concentration, but higher salt concentrations were related to an increase in dry weight. There was a lower cell count and chlorophyll concentration at higher concentrations, possibly because osmoregulation takes energy away from growth and because an excessive amount of salt can decrease the production of proteins involved in photosynthesis. There may have been a lower cell count and chlorophyll concentration at 1% because the aquarium salt provided some micronutrients, and this group got less. The dry weight may have increased with higher salt concentration because algae in the Picochlorum genus tend to produce more lipids when there is more salt.

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