P18 Large northern diatom species as candidates for profitable biomass production

P18 Large northern diatom species as candidates for profitable biomass production

Andrea Cornelia Gerecht1, Gunilla Kristina Eriksen1, Richard Andre Ingebrigtsen1 and Hans Christian Eilertsen1

1NFH, Uit - The Arctic University Of Norway, Tromsø, NOR

The aquaculture industry requires alternative feed sources to maintain high product value. Marine microalgae are the de novo producers of omega-3 fatty acids, and are therefore a promising future aquaculture feed. Concomitantly, microalgae can sequester factory fume CO2 and NOx during biomass synthesis. Profitable biomass production in northern areas requires species that grow efficiently at low temperatures and dim light. Physiological studies can identify candidate species, as well as determine their optimal growth conditions. Here, six diatom species, spanning a range of cell sizes, were cultured at 2 and 7°C, and growth and photosynthesis were measured. There was a high species-specific variation in all measured parameters. The largest diatom species was identified as an attractive candidate for biomass production. Interestingly, this species contained the highest amount of RuBisCO, a key enzyme in biomass production and carbon capture. High RuBisCO content may explain efficient growth rates at low temperatures.