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Modulation in light utilization by a microalga Asteracys sp. under mixotrophic growth regimes

Agarwal, Akanksha, Patil, Smita, Gharat, Krushna, Pandit, Reena A., Lali, Arvind M.
Photosynthesis research 2019 v.139 no.1-3 pp. 553-567
ascorbate peroxidase, biomass production, chlorophyll, fluorescence, glucose, light intensity, malondialdehyde, microalgae, photochemistry, photoinhibition, photons
This study is the first to explore the influence of incident light intensity on the photosynthetic responses under mixotrophic growth of microalga Asteracys sp. When grown mixotrophically, there was an enhanced regulation of non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) of the excited state of chlorophyll (Chl) a within the cells in response to white cool fluorescent high light (HL; 600 µmol photons m⁻² s⁻¹). Simultaneous measurement of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production as malondialdehyde (MDA) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX), an ROS scavenger, showed improved management of stress within mixotrophic cells under HL. Despite the observed decrease in quantum yield of photosynthesis measured through the Chl a fluorescence transient, no reduction in biomass accumulation was observed under HL for mixotrophy. However, biomass loss owing to photoinhibition was observed in cells grown phototrophically under the same irradiance. The measurements of dark recovery of NPQ suggested that “state transitions” may be partly responsible for regulating overall photosynthesis in Asteracys sp. The partitioning of photochemical and non-photochemical processes to sustain HL stress was analysed. Collectively, this study proposes that mixotrophy using glucose leads to a change in the photosynthetic abilities of Asteracys sp. while enhancing the adaptability of the alga to high irradiances.