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Biochemical and physiological characterization of a halotolerant Dunaliella salina isolated from hypersaline Sambhar Lake, India

Singh, Prabhakar, Khadim, Riyazat, Singh, Ankit K., Singh, Urmilesh, Maurya, Priyanka, Tiwari, Anupam, Asthana, Ravi K.
Journal of phycology 2019 v.55 no.1 pp. 60-73
Dunaliella salina, algae, biofuels, catalase, cell membranes, glutathione peroxidase, glycerol, hypersalinity, lakes, malondialdehyde, photoperiod, photosynthesis, proline, reactive oxygen species, salt tolerance, sodium, sodium chloride, superoxide dismutase, India
The objective of the present study was to characterize intrinsic physiological and biochemical properties of the wall‐less unicellular cholorophyte Dunaliella salina isolated from a hypersaline Sambhar Lake. The strain grew optimally at 0.5 M NaCl and 16:8 h L:D photoperiod along with maintaining low level of intracellular Na⁺ even at higher salinity, emphasizing special features of its cell membranes. It was observed that the cells experienced stress beyond 2 M NaCl as evidenced by increased intracellular reactive oxygen species and antioxidative enzymes, nevertheless proline and malondialdehyde content declined sharply accompanied by higher neutral lipid accumulation. Salinity exceeding 2 M resulted decrease in photosynthetic quantum yield (Fv/Fm) and enhanced glycerol synthesis accompanied by leakage. Super oxide dismutase seemed to play a pivotal role in antioxidative defense as eight isoforms were expressed differentially while catalase and glutathione peroxidase showing no significant change in their expression at higher salinity. The ability of D. salina to grow in range of salinities by sustaining healthy photosynthetic apparatus along with accumulation of valuable products made this alga an ideal organism that can be exploited as resource for biofuel and commercial products.