The Effect of Salinity on Picochlorum oklahomensis Growth

Destinee Elliott, Bobbi Jo Devereaux, Nicole Jo Cockcroft, Karson Carter, Kelly Easterling


Biofuels derived from microalgae are becoming increasingly important. (Singh et al. 2014). A particular strain of Picochlorum, Pichochlorum oklahomense, has been chosen as a viable alternative source for energy. As a halophile, the algae can survive in higher salinity environments than are character of other algae (Annan 2014). Because of this, we questioned which salinity environment would provide for optimal growth of the algae. We hypothesized that because the salinity increased, the growth rate would decrease. Our results did not show a general trend as the salt content was increased, and therefore our hypothesis was not supported. Upon further research, we discovered that other factors, including the skew in response to salinity within the Picochlorum genus (Foflonker 2018), nutrient availability, and temperature, affect the growth rate of the algae (Alvensleben 2013). Our experiment’s results can prompt other studies to be conducted that include other variables beside or in addition to salt concentrations.

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