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Bioremediation of Municipal and Agricultural Wastewater Coupled with High Value Product Formation in Coccomyxa Subellipsoidea C-169

Timothy J Nicodemus, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Single cellular eukaryotic green alga possesses the potential to address the global deficiencies in energy production, CO2 capture, and water contaminants removal. In this work we address production of a high value product(HVP) coincident with the removal of wastewater contaminants in using the following approaches: [1] Utilizing P. denitrificans to initiate the accumulation of lipids under nutrient rich conditions in C-169; [2] Utilizing C. subellipsoidea C-169 to facilitate to remediate organophosphate polution; [3] Development of a genetic system in C-169 via agrobacterium mediated transformation; [4] The use algal matrix to facilitate energy neutral algal crop harvesting. The findings from the first approach demonstrate that co-culturing P. denitrificans with C-169 initiates the accumulation of lipids in the algal cells. Analysis of the lipids reveals a significance increase in total lipids as well as neutral lipids in the algal fraction. It should also be noted that co-culturing increases algal biomass production even under lipid accumulating conditions were as other abiotic stresses usually induces lipid accumulation at the cost of biomass, discussed further in chapter three. The findings of approach two, utilizing C-169 to facilitate organophosphate degradation, demonstrate that during periods of photosynthesis or catabolic metabolism in the absence of light, C-169 degrades and removes organophosphate species from liquid media. It was demonstrated removal of organophosphates was dependent on Photosystem ll ROS production or oxidative phosphorylation. The findings of approach three, development of a genetic system in C-169, resulted in the development of a genetic system in C-169 through agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Presence of the insert was confirmed through PCR, visual evidence of β-glucuronidase (GUS A) expression, growth on Hygromycin selection plates, RT PCR of the green fluorescent protein(GFP)/GUS A fusion gene, and southern blotting techniques. The findings of the final approach, energy neutral harvesting of algal biomass crops, have resulted in the development of a prototype filtration system for the cost effective and efficient capture of single cellular algal species from a liquid media using filamentous algae as a filter media on a rigid scaffolding. This process was demonstrated to be 99% effective through the use of a single T. aquaele filter.

Subject Area

Biogeochemistry|Agriculture|Cellular biology

Recommended Citation

Nicodemus, Timothy J, "Bioremediation of Municipal and Agricultural Wastewater Coupled with High Value Product Formation in Coccomyxa Subellipsoidea C-169" (2020). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI27955588.