High internal pH conveys ammonia resistance in Spirulina platensis

Shimshon Belkin, Sammy Boussiba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Spirulina platensis is an alkalophilic cyanobacterium, often cultivated in mass cultures. Unlike many other photosynthetic microorganisms, it is capable of withstanding and even utilizing ammonia at high environmental pH. It is suggested that high internal pH values limit intracellular accumulation of ammonia, thus preventing uncoupling of photosynthesis. Furthermore, it is suggested that the high average internal pH (7.5) is conferred mainly by the intrathylakoid pH which is approximately 1 pH unit higher than in other cyanobacteria tested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-169
Number of pages3
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1991


  • Cyanobacteria
  • Spirulina plantensis, proton gradients, ammonia, alkalophile

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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