High-CO2 tolerance in microalgae: Possible mechanisms and implications for biotechnology and bioremediation

Alexei Solovchenko, Inna Khozin-Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


Recent developments in the field of microalgal biotechnology, including CO2 biomitigation and the discovery of new species of microalgae that are tolerant to extremely high CO2 levels (40-100 vol%), have renewed interest in the physiological effects and mechanisms of high-CO2 tolerance in photoautotrophs. Photosynthetic apparatus state transitions that increase ATP generation, upregulation of H+-ATPases pumping protons out of the cell, rapid shutdown of CO2-concentrating mechanisms, and adjustment of membranes' fatty acid composition are currently believed to be the key mechanisms governing cellular pH homeostasis and hence microalgae's tolerance to high CO2 levels, which is especially characteristic of extremophile and symbiotic species. The mechanisms governing acclimation to high CO2 comprise the subject of this review and are discussed in view of the use of CO2 enrichment to increase the productivity of microalgal cultures, as well as the practice of carbon capture from flue gases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1745-1752
Number of pages8
JournalBiotechnology Letters
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2013


  • Biomitigation
  • CO-concentrating mechanism
  • Microalga
  • Response of lipid metabolism
  • pH homeostasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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