Algal bioremediation of waste waters from land-based aquaculture using Ulva: selecting target species and strains

Lawton, Rebecca J., Mata, Leonardo, de Nys, Rocky, and Paul, Nicholas A. (2013) Algal bioremediation of waste waters from land-based aquaculture using Ulva: selecting target species and strains. PLoS ONE, 8 (10). e77344. pp. 1-10.

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The optimised reduction of dissolved nutrient loads in aquaculture effluents through bioremediation requires selection of appropriate algal species and strains. The objective of the current study was to identify target species and strains from the macroalgal genus Ulva for bioremediation of land-based aquaculture facilities in Eastern Australia. We surveyed land-based aquaculture facilities and natural coastal environments across three geographic locations in Eastern Australia to determine which species of Ulva occur naturally in this region and conducted growth trials at three temperature treatments on a subset of samples from each location to determine whether local strains had superior performance under local environmental conditions. DNA barcoding using the markers ITS and tufA identified six species of Ulva, with U. ohnoi being the most common blade species and U. sp. 3 the most common filamentous species. Both species occurred at multiple land-based aquaculture facilities in Townsville and Brisbane and multiple strains of each species grew well in culture. Specific growth rates of U. ohnoi and U. sp. 3 were high (over 9% and 15% day⁻¹ respectively) across temperature treatments. Within species, strains of U. ohnoi had higher growth in temperatures corresponding to local conditions, suggesting that strains may be locally adapted. However, across all temperature treatments Townsville strains had the highest growth rates (11.2–20.4% day⁻¹) and Sydney strains had the lowest growth rates (2.5–8.3% day⁻¹). We also found significant differences in growth between strains of U. ohnoi collected from the same geographic location, highlighting the potential to isolate and cultivate fast growing strains. In contrast, there was no clearly identifiable competitive strain of filamentous Ulva, with multiple species and strains having variable performance. The fast growth rates and broad geographical distribution of U. ohnoi make this an ideal species to target for bioremediation activities at land-based aquaculture facilities in Eastern Australia.

Item ID: 29736
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Keywords: macroalgae, growth, local adaptation, strain selection, seaweed, DNA barcode, temperature
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© 2013 Lawton et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funders: MBD Energy Research and Development program for Biological Carbon Capture and Storage, Australian Renewable Energy Agency, Advanced Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (AMCRC)
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2013 05:24
FoR Codes: 10 TECHNOLOGY > 1002 Environmental Biotechnology > 100203 Bioremediation @ 40%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070401 Aquaculture @ 40%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0607 Plant Biology > 060701 Phycology (incl Marine Grasses) @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960912 Urban and Industrial Water Management @ 40%
85 ENERGY > 8505 Renewable Energy > 850501 Biofuel (Biomass) Energy @ 40%
82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8203 Industrial Crops > 820399 Industrial Crops not elsewhere classified @ 20%
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