Comparative study on light attenuation models of Galdieria sulphuraria for efficient production of phycocyanin

  • Haohua Wang
  • Zhen Zhang
  • Minxi WanEmail author
  • Ruixuan Wang
  • Jianke Huang
  • Kaikai Zhang
  • Jiacai Guo
  • Wenmin Bai
  • Yuanguang LiEmail author


The thermo-acidophilic red microalga Galdieria sulphuraria is valuable especially for the intracellular thermostable phycocyanin with broad application prospects. Heterotrophy or photoinduction had been studied to enhance the production of phycocyanin at small-scale indoors. The aim of this study was to scale up the photoinduction process. The Cornet model could well describe and predict the light attenuation in G. sulphuraria suspension compared with the Lambert-Beer and hyperbolic models. Volume-averaged light intensity was the key parameter for photoinduction by testing respectively in 1-L column bioreactor, 3-L and 15-L flat plate photobioreactors indoors and outdoors, and supposed to be 600 μmol photons m−2 s−1. Accordingly, amplifying photoinduction in 1.35-m2 raceway pond outdoors was successfully carried out with the final cell dry weight of 2.37 g L−1 and phycocyanin up to 10.32%, which was comparable with that from Spirulina/Arthrospira and 3.82 times higher than that of heterotrophic cells of G. sulphuraria.


Galdieria sulphuraria Rhodophyta Phycocyanin Scale-up Light attenuation Volume-averaged light intensity 


Funding information

This research was funded by the National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (2015AA020602).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haohua Wang
    • 1
  • Zhen Zhang
    • 1
  • Minxi Wan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ruixuan Wang
    • 1
  • Jianke Huang
    • 1
  • Kaikai Zhang
    • 1
  • Jiacai Guo
    • 1
  • Wenmin Bai
    • 2
  • Yuanguang Li
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor EngineeringEast China University of Science and TechnologyShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Jiaxing Zeyuan Bio-Products Company Ltd.ZhejiangChina

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