Study : A revised mineral nutrient supplement increases biomass and growth rate in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii


A revised mineral nutrient supplement increases biomass and growth rate in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
Interest in exploiting algae as a biofuel source and the role of nutrient deficiency in inducing triacylglyceride (TAG) accumulation in cells necessitates a strategy to efficiently formulate species-specific culture media that can be easily manipulated. Using the reference organism Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, we tested the hypothesis that modeling trace element supplements on the ionomes of cells would result in optimized cell growth. We characterized the ionomes of multiple wild-type Chlamydomonas strains in various culture conditions and developed a revised trace element solution to parallel our measurements. Comparison of cells growing in the revised supplement versus a traditional trace element solution revealed faster growth rates and higher maximum cell densities with the revised recipe. RNA-seq analysis of cultures growing in the traditional versus revised medium suggest that the variation in transcriptomes was smaller than that found between laboratories using the same supplement. Visual observation did not reveal defects in cell motility or mating efficiency. Ni2+-inducible expression from the CYC6 promoter remained a useful tool, albeit with an increased amount of Ni2+ supplementation due to the introduction of an EDTA buffer system in the revised medium. Equilibrium modeling of the revised supplement predicts less metal precipitation in the revised medium. Other advantages include more facile preparation of trace element stock solutions that can readily be adapted for deficiency studies, a reduction in total chemical use, a more consistent batch-to-batch formulation, and long-term stability (up to 5 years). Under the new growth regime, we analyzed cells growing under different macro- and micronutrient-deficiencies. In N and S deficiency, cells accumulate TAG as well in the new medium as previously demonstrated. Fe and Zn deficiency also induced TAG accumulation as suggested by Nile Red and Bodipy staining. This ionomic approach can be used to efficiently optimize culturing conditions for other algal species to improve growth and assay cell physiology. Overall design: Sampling of Chlamydomonas CC-1021 (2137) cultivated in TAP medium supplemented with a revised trace element recipe based on ionomic data.


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