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Effect of nanosecond pulsed electric field treatment on cell proliferation of microalgae

Buchmann, Leandro, Frey, Wolfgang, Gusbeth, Christian, Ravaynia, Paolo S., Mathys, Alexander
Bioresource technology 2019 v.271 pp. 402-408
abiotic stress, biorefining, cell growth, cell proliferation, cell structures, electric field, microalgae, microorganisms, photosynthetic algae, production technology, protocols
Photoautotrophic microalgae based biorefinery concepts are currently not competitive compared to other established production systems. Therefore, innovative upstream processes need to be developed to increase the competitiveness of photoautotrophic microalgae biorefinery concepts. Abiotic sub-lethal stress induction via nanosecond pulsed electric field (nsPEF) treatment might be a viable process to increase the efficiency of photoautotrophic microalgae cultivation. In this work, an increased cell growth after nsPEF treatment was observable. Application of nsPEF to highly proliferating cells in a repetitive process resulted in a statistical significant increase in cell growth (p = 0.009). The effect was most pronounced after five days wherefore cellular structures and processes were analyzed to reveal a possible mechanism. Within this work, a protocol for increased cell proliferation with a possible mechanism was derived, which improves competitiveness of photoautotrophic microalgae biorefineries in the future. However, based on the derived mechanism, the results are also relevant for other microorganisms.