UABC Researchers Mutate Dunaliella salina Using Ultra-violet Rays for Increased
Production of Triglycerides 28
A team of researchers from the Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC), Mexico have isolated a new high yielding strain from a lake in San Quintin for the increased production of lipids. Researchers from the Meredith Gould Chambers of UABC under Dr Jose Luis Stephano Hornedo are working on the isolation of high lipid yielding strains. According to Dr Jose the isolated strain does not require fresh water for its growth and will produce oil 200 times more than traditional oil crops.
The team has chosen Dunaliella salina for its project. The strain was mutated with ultraviolet rays for increasing the triglyceride concentration. The mutated strain was then grown in a medium containing salt water, glycerol, urea, sodium bicarbonate and a fertilizer containing phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium in tanks exposed to natural light. As the project is in a pilot phase the algae will be grown in 10 closed tanks of 800L each.
The cultivated algae will then be concentrated using a centrifuge and then the cells will be disrupted to release the oil. Then biodiesel will be produced by transesterification process, and the waste glycerin will be used in other industries. By this pilot plant the team will be able to produce protein rich aquaculture feed as well. As they cultivate algae in sea water the use of fresh water could be avoided.
Their project is supported by fishing co-operative in the Baja California Coast and the Meredith Gould lab hopes to start a new industry in the region.