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Strategies to control biological contaminants during microalgal cultivation in open ponds

Lam, Tan Phat, Lee, Tse-Min, Chen, Chun-Yen, Chang, Jo-Shu
Bioresource technology 2018 v.252 pp. 180-187
algae culture, aquaculture feeds, autotrophs, bacteria, biomass production, feed additives, fungi, host specificity, microalgae, ponds, probiotics, solar radiation, viruses, wastewater treatment
Microalgal biomass is in great demand for many applications, including aquaculture feed. The most suitable system for microalgal culture is open pond cultivation, but it is also highly vulnerable to biological contamination. Contamination greatly reduces the biomass yield and depending on the contaminant, the quality of the biomass as a feed additive is compromised. Five groups of organisms that are the most common contaminants, including grazers, fungi, photosynthetic organisms, bacteria and viruses, are presented and the best possible ways to control these contaminants are indicated. Selection of a fast growing species along with selective technologies previously used for wastewater treatment can keep grazer population in control, while exploiting host-specific characteristic of fungal infection can protect from fungal attacks. Control of photosynthetic organisms and bacteria by good cultivation practices and the use of probiotics are critically important, as these organisms compete with the microalgal culture for sunlight and organic substrate.