Mixotrophic growth with acetate or volatile fatty acids maximizes growth and lipid production in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

Myounghoon Moon, Chul Woong Kim, Won Kun Park, Gursong Yoo, Yoon E. Choi, Ji Won Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Citations (Scopus)


We measured the growth of and lipid production by the model microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii under different phototrophic, heterotrophic, and mixotrophic conditions to determine the optimal conditions for growth and biodiesel production. In particular, we examined cell growth and yield of fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) when C. reinhardtii was cultured in the presence of different organic carbon sources (acetate, glucose, glycerol, and sucrose). C. reinhardtii grew under various conditions, but mixotrophic cultivation was best. The greatest biomass production (2.15gL-1 in 5days) and FAME yield (16.41% of biomass) were observed under mixotrophic cultivation with acetate (10gL-1). As an alternative to acetate, we additionally tested the use of volatile fatty acids (VFAs; acetic, propionic, and butyric acids), which can be inexpensively produced through fermentation of food waste. The highest FAME yield (19.02% of biomass) and biomass production (2.05gL-1 in 5days) were obtained with 5gL-1 of VFAs. This result indicates that VFAs can serve as an inexpensive alternative carbon source for maximizing lipid production in mixotrophic cultivation of C. reinhardtii.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-357
Number of pages6
JournalAlgal Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Oct
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Advanced Biomass R&D Center (ABC) of Korea Grant funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning ( ABC-2010-0029728 ).

Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Acetate
  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
  • Fatty acid methyl ester (FAME)
  • Microalgae
  • Mixotrophic cultivation
  • Volatile fatty acids (VFAs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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