Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research, 41 (5) November 2013
Use of in vivo chlorophyll fluorescence to estimate photosynthetic activity and biomass productivity in microalgae grown in different culture systems.
In vivo chlorophyll fluorescence associated to Photosystem II is being used to evaluate photosynthetic activity of microalgae grown in different types of photobioreactors; however, controversy on methodology is usual. Several recommendations on the use of chlorophyll fluorescence to estimate electron transport rate and productivity of microalgae grown in thin-layer cascade cultivators and methacrylate cylindrical vessels are included. Different methodologies related to the measure of photosynthetic activity in microalgae are discussed: (1) measurement of light absorption, (2) determination of electron transport rates versus irradiance and (3) use of simplified devices based on pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) fluorescence as Junior PAM or Pocket PAM with optical fiber and optical head as measuring units, respectively. Data comparisons of in vivo chlorophyll fluorescence by using these devices and other PAM fluorometers as Water-PAM in the microalga Chlorella sp. (Chlorophyta) are presented. Estimations of carbon production and productivity by transforming electron transport rate to gross photosynthetic rate (as oxygen evolution) using reported oxygen produced per photons absorbed values and carbon photosynthetic yield based on reported oxygen/carbon ratio are also shown. The limitation of ETR as estimator of photosynthetic and biomass productivity is discussed. Low cost:quality PAMs can promote monitoring of chlorophyll fluorescence in algal biotechnology to estimate the photosynthetic activity and biomass productivity.
Author: Félix L. Figueroa, Celia G. Jerez & Nathalie Korbee

© 2015 Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research