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Chlorella ellipsoidea and Chlorococcum infusionum, promising microalgae for biodiesel feedstock production, were treated with ethylenediaminetetraacetate (EDTA) and phosphorous to induce stress which was then followed by flow cytometry to study the enhanced intracellular neutral lipid content. Treatment resulted in up to a threefold increase in total lipid content of Chlorella (41.8±1.9% at 16 days of incubation period) and more than twofold increases in Chlorococcum (31.3±1.0%at 18 days of incubation period) under phosphorous starvation in the culture. It was observed that maximum biomass yields in Chlorella and Chlorococcum were 1.56±0.06 and 2.17±0.12 g/L at 1.5 g/L of phosphorous after 20 and 18 days of incubation periods, respectively. The qualitative analyses of neutral lipid bodies under stress conditions were performed by confocal microscopy and revealed bright golden-yellow lipid droplets in stress exposed cells. Significant increase of monounsaturated fatty acids under the nutrient limited conditions was suitable to produce biodiesel. The maximum biomass (g/L) and lipid content (% dry cell weight) at different stresses showed significant results (Ρ < 0.05) by single-factor Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) followed by Duncan's Multiple Range Test (DMRT).
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