Growth and photosynthesis of Chlorella strains from polar, temperate and tropical freshwater environments under temperature stress

Kok Keong Lee, Phaik Eem Lim, Sze Wan Poong, Chiew Yen Wong, Siew Moi Phang, John Beardall

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Elevated temperatures as a consequence of global warming have significant impacts on the adaptation and survival of microalgae which are important primary producers in many ecosystems. The impact of temperature on the photosynthesis of microalgae is of great interest as the primary production of algal biomass is strongly dependent on the photosynthetic rates in a dynamic environment. Here, we examine the effects of elevated temperature on Chlorella strains originating from different latitudes, namely Antarctic, Arctic, temperate and tropical regions. Chlorophyll fluorescence was used to assess the photosynthetic responses of the microalgae. Rapid light curves (RLCs) and maximum quantum yield (Fv / Fm) were recorded. The results showed that Chlorella originating from different latitudes portrayed different growth trends and photosynthetic performance. The Chlorella genus is eurythermal, with a broad temperature tolerance range, but with strain-specific characteristics. However, there was a large overlap between the tolerance range of the four strains due to their “eurythermal adaptivity”. Changes in the photosynthetic parameters indicated temperature stress. The ability of the four strains to reactivate photosynthesis after inhibition of photosynthesis under high temperatures was also studied. The Chlorella strains were shown to recover in terms of photosynthesis and growth (measured as Chl a) when they were returned to their ambient temperatures. Polar strains showed faster recovery in their optimal temperature compared to that under the ambient temperature from which they were isolated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1266-1279
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Oceanology and Limnology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • Antarctic
  • Arctic
  • F / F
  • microalgae
  • pigments
  • recovery

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