Mass cultivation of the nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium Gloeotrichia natans, indigenous to rice-fields

Nirianne Mari Querijero-Palacpac, Milagrosa R. Martinez, Sammy Boussiba

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16 Scopus citations


Gloeotrichia natans, a nitrogen fixing cyanobacterium common in rice fields in the Philippines, was used for studies to establish key features of its physiology and potential production in outdoor cultures. Under optimal growth conditions (38 °C, pH 8.0, no carbon enrichment) the specific growth rate of rice-field isolate was 0.076 h-1. The pH of the medium (between 6.5 and 9.0) did not influence the growth rate, but it did affect phycobiliprotein content, as reflected by a change in colour. At pH 7.0 the culture was green-brown, with phycobiliproteins constituting up to 10% of the total protein, while at pH 9.0 the culture was brownish-black and the pigment content was as high as 28% of the total protein. In outdoor cultures the specific growth rate was related directly to cell density in the range of 0.7-1.5 g dry weight 1-1 at a rate of stirring of 30 rpm, and inversely related to cell density at half this rate. At a stirring of 30 rpm, daily production of outdoor cultures harvested to maintain cell densities of 0.7, 1.15 andw 1.5 g 1-1 were 14.7, 17.1 and 18.1 g m-2 dt, respectively. This rate of production was maintained for more than 45 days. Phycobiliprotein content in the culture kept at a density of 1.5 g 1-1 reached 14% of the total biomass.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-325
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Phycology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1990


  • Gloeotrichia natans
  • biomass production
  • nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium
  • phycobiliproteins
  • rice-field

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Plant Science


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