This study aims to evaluate the potential of consortium biomass formation between Mucor circinelloides, an oleaginous filamentous fungal species, and Chlorella vulgaris, in order to promote a straightforward approach to harvest microalgal cells and to evaluate the lipid production in the consortium system. A synthetic medium with glucose (2 g·L-1) and mineral nutrients essential for both fungi and algae was selected. Four different inoculation strategies were assessed, considering the effect of simultaneous vs. separate development of fungal spores and algae cells, and the presence of a supporting matrix aiming at the higher recovery of algae cell rates. The results were evaluated in terms of consortium biomass composition, demonstrating that the strategy using a mature fungal mycelium with a higher algae count may provide biomass samples with up to 79% of their dry weight as algae, still promoting recovery rates greater than 97%. The findings demonstrate a synergistic effect on the lipid accumulation by the fungal strain, at around a fourfold increase when compared to the axenic control, with values in the range of 23% of dry biomass weight. Furthermore, the fatty acid profile from the samples presents a balance between saturated and unsaturated fatty acids that is likely to present an adequate balance for applications such as biodiesel production.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was funded by Funda??o de Amparo ? Pesquisa do Estado de S?o Paulo (FAPESP, grants #16/10636-8, #17/12908-8, and #18/01386-3), Coordena??o de Aperfei?oamento de Pessoal de N?vel Superior?Brazil (CAPES, finance code 001), and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cient?fico e Tecnol?gico?CNPq (process number 433248/2018-1).
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