Effect of nitrogen source and concentration to produce proteins in mass cultures of the microalgae Chaetoceros muelleri

JA López-Elías, R González-Vega, E Márquez-Ríos, W Torres-Arreola


Proteins are one of the major metabolites in biomass from microalgae that constitute the diet of marine organisms grown in aquaculture, and are essential for their growth. The quantity of this component is influenced by nutrients, temperature and light intensity, among others. We examined the growth, biomass production and protein of Chaetoceros muelleri with two sources of nitrogen (nitrate and urea) at three concentrations, using the medium f/2 (0.88 mol/L) (nitrates) as control. The treatments were the medium 2f (3.53 mol/L) and 4f (7.05 mol/L) with NO3-, and the medium f/2 (0.88 mol/L), 2f (3.53mol/L) and 4f (7.05 mol/L) with urea. In general, the productive parameters were greater using urea than nitrate in the media. Higher cell concentrations (2.83 x 106 cell/mL), average and cumulative growth rates (1.50 div/day and 6.01 divisions), dry weight (0.0044 g/L), and proportion of proteins (23.74%) were found when urea was used as the N source. However, most of the bands on the electrophoretic profile were present in the mediums with NO3- (~6.5 to 90 kDa).

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