Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 2087–2095 | Cite as

Effect of different media on exopolysaccharide and biomass production by the green microalga Botryococcus braunii

  • Kenny C. Díaz Bayona
  • Lucía Atehortúa Garcés


Botryococcus braunii is a colonial green microalga with recognized potential to synthesize lipids and hydrocarbons for biofuel production. Besides this ability, this microalga also produces exopolysaccharides (EPS). Nevertheless, there are few reports about their biotechnological aspects and industrial applications. In this study, the effect of the nutritional conditions was examined by using two different culture media (BG11 and D medium). To our knowledge, the latter has not been reported before for culturing B. braunii. After 49 days of incubation, the final production of EPS was found to be statistically higher (P < 0.05) in the D medium (0.549 ± 0.044 g L−1) than in BG11 (0.336 ± 0.009 g L−1). On the contrary, the biomass production was found to be higher in BG11 (1.019 ± 0.051 g L−1) than in the D medium (0.953 ± 0.056 g L−1). However, this difference was not statistically significant. The difference in salinity and nitrogen concentration between both media is suggested as the main factor involved in the EPS and biomass results. FTIR spectra of B. braunii EPS from both media revealed presence of uronic acids and absence of amino and sulfate groups. Despite the similarity between both spectra, there were some different signals (at 1,921.52 and 720.60 cm−1) which may mean a difference in glycosyl composition.


Microalgae Botryococcus braunii Culture media Biomass Exopolysaccharides FTIR 



This work was supported by Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM), the University of Antioquia and the Division of Sustainability of the Committee for Research Development of the Universidad de Antioquia – CODI. We thank HUMAX Pharmaceutical S.A (Itagüí, Colombia) and its members Jhonny Colorado and Alba Ceballos for their help with the FTIR analysis of the samples.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenny C. Díaz Bayona
    • 1
  • Lucía Atehortúa Garcés
    • 1
  1. 1.Grupo de Biotecnología, Instituto de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y NaturalesUniversidad de Antioquia UdeAMedellínColombia

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