Seawater successfully used for freshwater cyanobacteria cultivation

April 8, 2015

Increased amino acid production

RIKEN CSRS researchers have successfully cultivated freshwater cyanobacteria in a seawater medium, which also resulted in a significant increase in production of amino acids such as lysine and ornithine.

The researchers employed Synechocystis, a freshwater cyanobacterium commonly used in research, with the aim of establishing a freshwater-free method of cyanobacteria cultivation. They successfully cultivated  freshawater cyanobacterium in seawater by adding nitrogen and phosphorus (seawater alone was not sufficient) and maintaining pH with a buffer

Synechocystis is normally cultivated in synthetic medium. Cells grown in synthetic medium and seawater  exhibited the different levels of intracellular glycogen and amino acids. Notably, production of useful amino acids such as lysine and ornithine was up-regulated by seawater cultivation.

These results demonstrate the potential use of seawater for the cultivation of freshwater cyanobacteria, which could help reduce freshwater consumption at biorefineries and lead to efficient production of amino acids and other useful substances.


Original article
Frontiers in Microbiology doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.00326
H. Iijima, Y. Nakaya, A. Kuwahara, M. Yokota Hirai, T. Osanai,
"Seawater cultivation of freshwater cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 drastically alters amino acid composition and glycogen metabolism".

Masami Hirai: Team Leader
Takashi Osanai: Visiting Scientist
Metabolic Systems Research Team