The use of rotifers for the maintenance of monoalgal mass cultures of Spirulina

S. A. Mitchell, A. Richmond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Zooplankton was successfully used for the biological control of unicellular algal contaminants in Spirulina mass cultures even under conditions adverse to the growth of Spirulina (maximal winter daily temperature of approximately 10°C and very low bicarbonate concentration). Brachionus plicatilis (Rotifera) was the most successful species of zooplankton used. The interrelationships between Spirulina, green unicellular contaminant, and B. plicatilis were studied under various conditions. Two species of unicellular contaminant were used; Monoraphidium minutum was isolated from local cultures and Chlorella vulgaris, obtained from contaminated Spirulina cultures in Israel. The rotifer B. plicatilis successfully controlled the population size of both contaminants whether they were introduced in a single addition or as a daily dose. The biological control of the unicellular contaminants allows Spirulina to be cultured in a medium low in bicarbonate, thereby reducing the cost of the medium and increasing the quantity of CO2 that may be freely absorbed from the atmosphere at the optimal pH for Spirulina cultivation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-168
Number of pages5
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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