PhD students in BioSC Core Groups have the opportunity to apply for interdisciplinary small-scale projects with a six-month duration across different BioSC partner locations and research areas. There are one or two calls for proposals per year.
Funding period: 01.01.-30.06.2024
Cyanobacteria, regardless if for industrial or research purposes are cultivated using lighting systems with vastly differing light spectra (Johnson et al. 2018; Park and Dinh 2019). Commonly used are white light sources like halogen or fluorescent lamps and single-colour sources with filters or LEDs. It has been shown that irradiance colour majorly affects the growth, metabolism, and biotechnological productivity of cyanobacteria (Luimstra et al. 2018; Park and Dinh 2019; Bernát et al. 2021; Rodrigues et al. 2023). Indeed, a recent modelling work in our group suggested the use-efficiency might differ even between white light sources and that optimal light conditions also depend on the ATP:NADPH ratio of the target product (Pfennig et al. 2023). Therefore, lighting is critical for optimising cyanobacterial growth conditions. However, artificial light sources vary in their power consumption and efficiency, raising the bioeconomical question which cultivation light sources are the most cost efficient long-term (Johnson et al. 2018; Doğanşahin et al. 2021).
This project aims at evaluating the culture growth promotion and power consumption cost of different light sources using mechanistic mathematical modelling and growth experiments. Interdisciplinary studies using non-mechanistic models have been successfully used before to investigate light effects on growth in photobioreactors (Souliès et al. 2016). As cyanobacterial strains and species differ in their pigment composition and metabolic demands, e.g. between diazotrophic and non-diazotrophic species, we will test for differences in lighting preference. Notably, this project will also inform about the comparability of growth experiments performed with different lighting setups.