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Cellular Photosynthetic Rate of Fully and Partially Pigmented Chlamydomonas reinhardtii as a Function of Irradiance

[+] Author Affiliations
Thomas E. Murphy, Halil Berberoğlu

University of Texas, Austin, TX

Paper No. IMECE2011-64550, pp. 203-209; 7 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 4: Energy Systems Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability; Combustion Science and Engineering; Nanoengineering for Energy, Parts A and B
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, November 11–17, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5490-7
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


This paper reports the cellular photosynthetic rates of the green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii wild strain and its truncated chlorophyll antenna transformant, tla1 , as a function of local irradiance. It is hypothesized that reduction in the pigmentation of algae cells can enhance light peneration in mass cultures and increase productivity. Thus, an experimental setup was designed to expose each cell within planktonic algae cultures to a nearly uniform irradiance. An oxygen microsensor was used to monitor the photosynthetic rate as the irradiance onto the sample was varied. The results showed that the cellular photosynthetic rate of the wild strain, CC125, was greater than that of tla1 at all irradiances, by a factor that ranged from 1.7 to 4. Photoinhibition was observed in both strains, although the effect was more pronounced in CC125. Although less pigmented cells enable deeper light penetration in photobioreactors, their reduced phosotynthetic rate can negate this benefit.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME
Topics: Microsensors , Oxygen



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