Main content area

The Effects of Plant Growth Substances and Mixed Cultures on Growth and Metabolite Production of Green Algae Chlorella sp.: A Review

Tate, John J., Gutierrez-Wing, M. Teresa, Rusch, Kelly A., Benton, Michael G.
Journal of plant growth regulation 2013 v.32 no.2 pp. 417-428
Azospirillum, Brevundimonas, Chlorella, Sphingomonas, abscisic acid, auxins, biofuels, brassinosteroids, cytokinins, jasmonic acid, microalgae, mixed culture, nitrogen-fixing bacteria, polyamines, salicylic acid, wastewater, wastewater treatment
Recent interest in the use of microalgae for the production of biofuels and bioproducts has stimulated an interest in methods to enhance the growth rate of microalgae. This review examines past work involving the stimulation of Chlorella sp. growth and metabolite production by plant growth substances as well as by mixed cultures of Chlorella sp. with bacteria. Plant growth substances known to regulate Chlorella sp. growth and metabolite production include auxins, cytokinins, abscisic acid, polyamines, brassinosteroids, jasmonic acid, salicylic acid, and combinations of two or three of the aforementioned substances. Mixed cultures of bacteria are examined, including both natural bacteria–algae consortia and artificially induced symbioses. For natural consortia, commonly occurring bacterial species, including the genera Brevundimonas and Sphingomonas, are discussed. For artificially induced symbioses, the use of the nitrogen-fixing bacterium Azospirillum is examined in detail. In particular, a variety of studies have involved the coimmobilization of Chlorella sp. with Azospirillum sp. in alginate beads, with the goal of using the mixed culture to treat wastewater. In summary, the use of plant growth substances and mixed cultures provides two methods to increase the growth of Chlorella sp., whether for the production of lipids for biofuels, the production of bioproducts, the treatment of wastewater, or a variety of other reasons.