Cryopreservation of microalgae from desert environments of Qatar
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The Qatar University Culture Collection of Cyanobacteria and Microalgae (QUCCCM) is a unique resource containing a diverse collection of microalgae and cyanobacteria, isolated from the Qatar desert environment. In order to ensure maximum preservation of this resource, a number of cryopreservation techniques were applied to various strains, and the preservation effectiveness (cell viability and lipid productivity) was determined. The conditions tested were direct, passive, and freeze-cooling cryopreservation (technique), dimethyl sulfate and methanol (cryoprotectant), and 5 and 10 % cryoprotectant concentrations over storage durations of up to 1 year. It was shown that the cryopreservation regime is strain dependent, and strains belonging to the same genera can have different requirements. On the other hand, neutral lipid estimation, via Nile red fluorescence determination of pre- and post-cryopreserved microalgae isolates, confirmed that the lipid production is affected by the applied cryopreservation method.
KeywordsMicroalgae Cryopreservation Cryoprotectant Long-term storage Neutral lipid
This research was supported by Qatar Airways and the Qatar Scientific Technology Park (QSTP) and hosted by Qatar University. Very special regards go to the memory of Pr. Malcolm Potts who was always supportive and helpful.
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