Fatty acids and hydrocarbons of selected blue-green algae




Anderson, Richard Kent

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title





The purpose of this study was to examine the fatty acid and hydrocarbon content of several species of blue-green algae, two diatoms and one red alga grown at 30°C and at 39°C. Although some of these organisms have been examined before, it was felt that the improvement in analytical procedure and instrumentation warranted another study. Several of the algae chosen also had characteristics which made them potentially interesting for fatty acid and hydrocarbon analysis. The alga CA was a species of Anabaena (Stacey, 1978) and was a nitrogen fixing organism capable of growing at high (42°C) temperatures. CA is noteworthy because of its rapid nitrogen fixation and growth rate (5 generations per day under optimum conditions as compared to other nitrogen fixing blue-green algae. Cells grown on nitrate or under nitrogen fixing conditions were examined. Strain 6714, a species of Aphanocapsa, was a blue-green alga capable of heterotrophic growth in the dark using glucose as an energy source (Bottomley and Van Baalen, 1978). Strain MAC was a species of Nostoc (Bowyer and Skerman, 1968) which was also capable of heterotrophic growth on glucose (Bottomley and Van Baalen, 1978). Strain 3NT was a species of Oscillatoria. This organism required the addition of trace amounts of nickel to its medium for growth (Van Baalen and O'Donnell, 1978). Strain LUC was a species of Oscillatoria which contained phycoerythrin. This blue-green alga was isolated from a sample from a deep (80 meters) coral reef environment. Newly isolated diatom strains N1 and AMP (Morgan, 1975) and the unicellular red alga, CIR, were examined as organisms of contrast to the blue-green algae. Two natural samples from a hypersaline algal mat environment are included as examples of fatty acid and hydrocarbon profiles of recent reducing sediments