Continuous photoautotrophic cultures of the eukaryotic alga Chlorella vulgaris can exhibit stable oscillatory dynamics

Biotechnology and Bioengineering
M Javanmardian, B O Palsson

Abstract

Sustained oscillations in cell concentration, average per cell DNA content, and average cell size were found in continuous photoautotrophic cultures of Chlorella vulgaris at low dilution rates (0.1/day). The period of oscillation was approximately 10 days. DNA histograms determined by flow cytometry exhibited reproducible pattern through consecutive oscillations. At the maximum cell concentration during an oscillation, the DNA histograms showed that the majority of the cells were not replicating their chromosomes, and most of the culture was comprised of single cells in G0/G1 phase. The cells then initiated DNA replication; however, because of the long generation time, the cell concentration decreased to a minimum, and at the same time the average per cell DNA content reached its maximum value. At this point the cells began to divide, and the cell concentration increased until it reached its maximum value at the beginning of the next oscillation. Calculations based on the supplied nutrients and comparison to biomass generation showed that the oscillatory behavior in continuous photoautotrophic cultures of C. vulgaris was not due to nutrient limitation, but most likely was due to the secretion of compounds that alter cell cycle ...Continue Reading

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