Antenna size reduction as a strategy to increase biomass productivity: a great potential not yet realized

T. de Mooij, M.G.J. Janssen, O. Cerezo-Chinarro, J.H. Mussgnug, O. Kruse, M. Ballottari, R. Bassi, S. Bujaldon, F.A. Wollman, R.H. Wijffels

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Abstract

A major limitation in achieving high photosynthetic efficiency in microalgae mass cultures is the fact that the intensity of direct sunlight greatly exceeds the photosynthetic capacity of the cells. Due to the high pigment content of algal cells, the light absorption rate surpasses the much slower conversion rate to biochemical energy. The excess of light energy is predominantly dissipated as heat, decreasing the light use efficiency of the culture. Algae with a truncated antenna system could substantially increase biomass productivity of mass cultures because oversaturation of the photosystems and concomitant dissipation of light energy are minimized. In this study, we measured the areal biomass productivity of wild-type strain cultures and four promising antenna size mutant cultures of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. This was performed under simulated mass culture conditions. The strains were cultivated in turbidostat controlled lab-scale panel photobioreactors at an incident light intensity of 1500 µmol photons m-2 s-1. The mutant cultures did not exhibit the expected higher productivity. The greatest mutant culture productivity values were approximate to those of the wild-type productivity of 1.9 g m-2 h-1. The high sensitivity to abrupt light shifts indicated that the mutant cultures experienced reduced fitness and higher susceptibility to photodamage. This can possibly be explained by impaired photoprotection mechanisms induced by the antenna complex alterations, or by unintended side effects of the genetic modifications. Still, if these effects could be eliminated, the principle of antenna size reduction is a promising strategy to increase productivity. Selection criteria for the future creation of antenna size mutants should, therefore, include tolerance to high light conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1063-1077
JournalJournal of Applied Phycology
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Fingerprint

antennae
antenna
productivity
biomass
mutants
algae
energy
photostability
Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
selection criteria
microalgae
genetic engineering
photoprotection
light intensity
light use efficiency
solar radiation
adverse effects
pigments
cells
heat

Keywords

  • harvesting chlorophyll antenna
  • alga chlamydomonas-reinhardtii
  • photosynthetic productivity
  • solar-energy
  • light
  • photobioreactors
  • efficiency
  • microalgae
  • protein
  • phytoplankton

Cite this

de Mooij, T. ; Janssen, M.G.J. ; Cerezo-Chinarro, O. ; Mussgnug, J.H. ; Kruse, O. ; Ballottari, M. ; Bassi, R. ; Bujaldon, S. ; Wollman, F.A. ; Wijffels, R.H. / Antenna size reduction as a strategy to increase biomass productivity: a great potential not yet realized. In: Journal of Applied Phycology. 2015 ; Vol. 27, No. 3. pp. 1063-1077.
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abstract = "A major limitation in achieving high photosynthetic efficiency in microalgae mass cultures is the fact that the intensity of direct sunlight greatly exceeds the photosynthetic capacity of the cells. Due to the high pigment content of algal cells, the light absorption rate surpasses the much slower conversion rate to biochemical energy. The excess of light energy is predominantly dissipated as heat, decreasing the light use efficiency of the culture. Algae with a truncated antenna system could substantially increase biomass productivity of mass cultures because oversaturation of the photosystems and concomitant dissipation of light energy are minimized. In this study, we measured the areal biomass productivity of wild-type strain cultures and four promising antenna size mutant cultures of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. This was performed under simulated mass culture conditions. The strains were cultivated in turbidostat controlled lab-scale panel photobioreactors at an incident light intensity of 1500 µmol photons m-2 s-1. The mutant cultures did not exhibit the expected higher productivity. The greatest mutant culture productivity values were approximate to those of the wild-type productivity of 1.9 g m-2 h-1. The high sensitivity to abrupt light shifts indicated that the mutant cultures experienced reduced fitness and higher susceptibility to photodamage. This can possibly be explained by impaired photoprotection mechanisms induced by the antenna complex alterations, or by unintended side effects of the genetic modifications. Still, if these effects could be eliminated, the principle of antenna size reduction is a promising strategy to increase productivity. Selection criteria for the future creation of antenna size mutants should, therefore, include tolerance to high light conditions.",
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de Mooij, T, Janssen, MGJ, Cerezo-Chinarro, O, Mussgnug, JH, Kruse, O, Ballottari, M, Bassi, R, Bujaldon, S, Wollman, FA & Wijffels, RH 2015, 'Antenna size reduction as a strategy to increase biomass productivity: a great potential not yet realized', Journal of Applied Phycology, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 1063-1077. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10811-014-0427-y

Antenna size reduction as a strategy to increase biomass productivity: a great potential not yet realized. / de Mooij, T.; Janssen, M.G.J.; Cerezo-Chinarro, O.; Mussgnug, J.H.; Kruse, O.; Ballottari, M.; Bassi, R.; Bujaldon, S.; Wollman, F.A.; Wijffels, R.H.

In: Journal of Applied Phycology, Vol. 27, No. 3, 2015, p. 1063-1077.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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T1 - Antenna size reduction as a strategy to increase biomass productivity: a great potential not yet realized

AU - de Mooij, T.

AU - Janssen, M.G.J.

AU - Cerezo-Chinarro, O.

AU - Mussgnug, J.H.

AU - Kruse, O.

AU - Ballottari, M.

AU - Bassi, R.

AU - Bujaldon, S.

AU - Wollman, F.A.

AU - Wijffels, R.H.

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - A major limitation in achieving high photosynthetic efficiency in microalgae mass cultures is the fact that the intensity of direct sunlight greatly exceeds the photosynthetic capacity of the cells. Due to the high pigment content of algal cells, the light absorption rate surpasses the much slower conversion rate to biochemical energy. The excess of light energy is predominantly dissipated as heat, decreasing the light use efficiency of the culture. Algae with a truncated antenna system could substantially increase biomass productivity of mass cultures because oversaturation of the photosystems and concomitant dissipation of light energy are minimized. In this study, we measured the areal biomass productivity of wild-type strain cultures and four promising antenna size mutant cultures of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. This was performed under simulated mass culture conditions. The strains were cultivated in turbidostat controlled lab-scale panel photobioreactors at an incident light intensity of 1500 µmol photons m-2 s-1. The mutant cultures did not exhibit the expected higher productivity. The greatest mutant culture productivity values were approximate to those of the wild-type productivity of 1.9 g m-2 h-1. The high sensitivity to abrupt light shifts indicated that the mutant cultures experienced reduced fitness and higher susceptibility to photodamage. This can possibly be explained by impaired photoprotection mechanisms induced by the antenna complex alterations, or by unintended side effects of the genetic modifications. Still, if these effects could be eliminated, the principle of antenna size reduction is a promising strategy to increase productivity. Selection criteria for the future creation of antenna size mutants should, therefore, include tolerance to high light conditions.

AB - A major limitation in achieving high photosynthetic efficiency in microalgae mass cultures is the fact that the intensity of direct sunlight greatly exceeds the photosynthetic capacity of the cells. Due to the high pigment content of algal cells, the light absorption rate surpasses the much slower conversion rate to biochemical energy. The excess of light energy is predominantly dissipated as heat, decreasing the light use efficiency of the culture. Algae with a truncated antenna system could substantially increase biomass productivity of mass cultures because oversaturation of the photosystems and concomitant dissipation of light energy are minimized. In this study, we measured the areal biomass productivity of wild-type strain cultures and four promising antenna size mutant cultures of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. This was performed under simulated mass culture conditions. The strains were cultivated in turbidostat controlled lab-scale panel photobioreactors at an incident light intensity of 1500 µmol photons m-2 s-1. The mutant cultures did not exhibit the expected higher productivity. The greatest mutant culture productivity values were approximate to those of the wild-type productivity of 1.9 g m-2 h-1. The high sensitivity to abrupt light shifts indicated that the mutant cultures experienced reduced fitness and higher susceptibility to photodamage. This can possibly be explained by impaired photoprotection mechanisms induced by the antenna complex alterations, or by unintended side effects of the genetic modifications. Still, if these effects could be eliminated, the principle of antenna size reduction is a promising strategy to increase productivity. Selection criteria for the future creation of antenna size mutants should, therefore, include tolerance to high light conditions.

KW - harvesting chlorophyll antenna

KW - alga chlamydomonas-reinhardtii

KW - photosynthetic productivity

KW - solar-energy

KW - light

KW - photobioreactors

KW - efficiency

KW - microalgae

KW - protein

KW - phytoplankton

U2 - 10.1007/s10811-014-0427-y

DO - 10.1007/s10811-014-0427-y

M3 - Article

VL - 27

SP - 1063

EP - 1077

JO - Journal of Applied Phycology

JF - Journal of Applied Phycology

SN - 0921-8971

IS - 3

ER -