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Can J Microbiol. 2008 Jan;54(1):66-70. doi: 10.1139/w07-112.

Repeated batch cultivation of the hydrocarbon-degrading, micro-algal strain Prototheca zopfii RND16 immobilized in polyurethane foam.

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Department of Ocean Sciences, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Konan, Minato, Tokyo, 108-8477, Japan.


This study reports on the stability of the cells of a heterotrophic green micro-algal strain Prototheca zopfii RND16 immobilized in polyurethane foam (PUF) cubes during degradation of mixed hydrocarbon substrate, which was composed of n-alkanes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), in 5 successive cycles of repeated batch cultivation at 30 degrees C. Both RND16 cells and mixed hydrocarbon substrate components had been entrapped in PUF cubes through cultivation. PUF-immobilized RND16 degraded n-alkanes almost completely, whereas the strain hardly degraded PAHs in PUFs, rather they accumulated in the matrices. It is noteworthy that this result is strikingly different from that of the free-living cell culture, where RND16 reduced concentrations of both n-alkanes and PAHs. However, PAHs accumulation in the PUFs did not impair the performance of the immobilized alga to utilize n-alkanes. These results suggest that the PUFs harboring RND16 cells could be used repeatedly for selective retrieval of PAHs from oil-polluted waters after preferential biodegradation of n-alkanes by algae.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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