We Put the G in Algae: How Gatorade Affects Algae Growth

Ryley Schneider, Avery Melton, Avery Sessom, Kreig Smith


Algae are plants that use photosynthesis to convert energy and are very wide-ranging among the different genera. The Research for Biofuels Research and Aquatic Quality Collaborative (BiRAQC) is focused on questions such as what factors affect algal growth, photosynthesis, and biomass production (French 2017). This background information led us to wonder how the components of Gatorade such as sugar, sodium and other nutrients could affect algal growth. In this slightly unconventional experiment, we tested how the algae from the genus Chlorella reacted to varying amounts of Gatorade in the bioreactors that we grew it in. We tested the initial and final cell counts of four control groups and four experimental groups with different amounts of Gatorade after one week each.

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