Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 41, Issue 4–5, pp 533–545 | Cite as

Lipid production from indigenous Greek microalgae: a possible biodiesel source

  • Alexander L. Savvides
  • Konstantina Moisi
  • Efstathios A. Katsifas
  • Amalia D. Karagouni
  • Dimitris G. HatzinikolaouEmail author
Original Research Paper



Microalgae gained interest for potential use as biodiesel producers, since they synthesize and accumulate significant quantities of lipids. The aim of this work was to isolate indigenous microalgae strains from Greek habitats, study their physicochemical growth conditions and finally select the best ones with respect to overall lipid production and profile.


Two sampling sites of marine aquatic ecosystems were selected in Attica prefecture, Greece in order to screen for novel wild type strains with lipid production capacity. Microalgae isolates (59) were obtained from the selected areas and were morphologically and molecularly characterized. Fatty acids were estimated through Flow Cytometry combined with BODIPY staining method. Four isolates were selected for their lipid production properties and were cultivated in 15 L tank cultures. The four isolates were also identified by 18S rDNA gene sequencing. Two of them, Chlorella sp. ΑCΑ9 and ACA17, exhibited both maximum biomass and lipid productivity. Optimization of growth conditions with respect to pH and initial NaNO3 concentration was performed for the two microalgae in 15 L cultures. Finally, 20 L fed batch cultures were set up using the optimum culture conditions. Lipid profiles were stabilized for both strains at dry biomass levels over 1 g L−1 and lipid content of 25% (w/w).


Two Chlorella strains (ACA9 and ACA17) were promising candidates for biodiesel production as they were easily grown in sea water in fed batch systems and produce lipids suitable for biodiesel—especially Chlorella sp. ACA9.


Biodiesel production Chlorella sp. Fed-batch culture Greek habitats 



The authors gratefully acknowledge GF energy sa ( for their financial support. The work has been partially supported by the European Union and Greek national funds through the Operational Program Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, under the call RESEARCH–CREATE–INNOVATE (project code:T1EDK-02681, Project title: “Bioconversion of CO2 into High-added Value Bioproducts through Sustainable Microalgae Cultivation Processes—CO2-BioPproducts”).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander L. Savvides
    • 1
  • Konstantina Moisi
    • 1
  • Efstathios A. Katsifas
    • 1
  • Amalia D. Karagouni
    • 1
  • Dimitris G. Hatzinikolaou
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Microbiology Group, Sector of Botany, Department of BiologyNational and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece

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