The Effect of Salinity on Chlorella Growth

Jessica Wolters, Meredith Thompson, Hollie Thorne, Coleton Waggoner, Autumn Brown


Our main objective in this experiment was to find the correlation in Chlorella growth and salinity of the environment it grows in. This experiment was conducted using a photobioreactor over the course of two weeks and collecting data from the cell count after week one and two. The controlled environment in our experiment was the Chlorella algae that was left to grow in fresh water. Our experimental environments had three different percentages of sodium chloride (1.5%, 3.5%, and 5.5%) in relation to the mass of the water that the algae had to grow in. We did this to observe the growth of algae in higher salinity environments and test our hypothesis. We found that our hypothesis was supported by this experiment. This means that fresh water algae’s growth is stinted in higher salinity water. This is due to osmosis drawing water from the algae cells and hindering the photosynthesis that allows Chlorella to grow.

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