Algae Show Increased Growth in Red Light and White Light Compared to No Light

Julie Stoyanoff, Maggie Soulages, Patrick Olfers, Montgomery Notley, Scott Goeppner


We studied factors that affect biofuels, specifically the relationship between algae growth and light intensity/light color. By exposing our plants to red light and no light, and by calculating the cell density of the plants, we were able to determine which conditions favor photosynthesis. We hypothesized that algae will maximize their growth under red light because electron excitation in photosystems II and I is triggered largely by red wavelength light. Our results show that algae grows best under white light, partially in red light, and almost no growth without light. Therefore, our results partially support our hypothesis. Our results could benefit biofuel producers because if they were to invest in lighting for their algae cultures, they would see an increase in growth rate.

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