Discipline: Biological Sciences
Talisha Parker - Louisiana State University
Cyanobacteria are prokaryotes capable of performing oxygenic photosynthesis similar to plants. However, the photosynthetic efficiency of cyanobacteria can be up to ten times greater than terrestrial plants. Therefore, cyanobacteria are being investigated for the production of high-value chemical compounds from sunlight and atmospheric carbon dioxide. Cyanobacteria are traditionally known as blue-green algae because of their pigmentation. One of the blue pigments produced by cyanobacteria is Phycocyanin, which can be used in medicine, food coloring, and cosmetics. This pigment is a nontoxic and non-carcinogenic anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, and radical-scavenging compound. The prime objectives of this experiment are to determine what is the fraction of phycocyanin produced by the three model cyanobacteria Synechocystis sp. PCC6803, Synechococcus elongatus PCC7942, and Anabaena sp. UTEX 2576; and to optimize methods for the extraction and purification of phycocyanin. The optical density and the concentration of phycocyanin in cyanobacteria cultures were measured using UV- visible spectrophotometry and the biomass production was estimated by means of dry weight measurements. Some preliminary results show that phycocyanin makes up to 1% of the dry weight in Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 and Synechococcus elongatus PCC7942 while it makes up for 12% of the dry weight of Anabaena sp. UTEX 2576. These results indicate that the Anabaena sp. UTEX 2576 can be developed as a primary producer of phycocyanin. Future research involves the application of genetic engineering of Anabaena sp. UTEX 2576 to maximize the production of phycocyanin, and evaluation of its physical and chemical properties.Abstract Cyanobacteria .docx
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Cain Department of Chemical Engineering, Louisiana State University Colombian Institute of Science and Technology (COLCIENCIAS)
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Michael Benton, email@example.com
Role: To contribute to this research, I measured the optical density and concentration of phycocyanin in cyanobacteria cultures using UV- visible spectrophotometry. To check the biomass production those results were estimated by means of dry weight measurements. After collecting the data from the optical density and concentration of the phycocyanin I then input the data into an excel file to record and calculate the exact percentage of phycocyanin in each cyanobacteria culture.