New bioremediation paper published by Dr Alla Silkina

in Journal of Applied Phycology the paper with the title:

Bioremediation efficacy—comparison of nutrient removal from an anaerobic digest waste-based medium by an algal consortium before and after cryopreservation

was recently published by  Dr Alla Silkina and colleagues under ACCOMPLISH project results.

The abstract:

An algal consortium was isolated from an integrated steelmaking site at TATA Steel Strip Products Ltd. in Port Talbot, UK, and its bioremediation capacity tested. Excellent “bioremediation” was observed when the mixed culture was “applied” to diluted effluent from an enhanced anaerobic digestion plant at Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water at Port Talbot, UK. After 5 days of cultivation in a 600-L photobioreactor, 99% of the total nitrogen (initial level, 4500 μmol L−1) and total phosphorus (initial level, 690.4 μmol L−1) were removed from the waste stream. The consortium was deposited in the Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa (CCAP), an international depository authority for microalgal patents, as CCAP 293/1. This material has been successfully cryopreserved using a two-step cryopreservation protocol with dimethyl sulphoxide (5% v/v) used as a cryoprotectant. On recovery of samples after 3 months storage at −196 °C, the specific bioremediation activity of the revived consortium was tested. The capacity of the revived culture to bioremediate effluent was not significantly different (p < 0.05) from a non-cryopreserved control, with 99% of total nitrogen and phosphorus remediated by day 4. Although non-axenic algal cultures have previously been cryopreserved, this is the first report of the successful cryopreservation of mixed algal consortium, with validation of its ability to bioremediate after thawing comparing non-cryopreserved cultures with a revived post-thaw algal consortium. The study also highlights the need to ensure the long-term security and the requirement to validate the functionality of conserved inocula with biotechnological/bioremediation potential.

Collaborative visit to Mexico

During last week (13.02.17-17.02.17), part of Swansea University team of PhycoPigment project (Innovate Uk- Newton-CONACYT), Dr Claudio Fuentes-Grunewald  and Dr Bob Lovitt visited INECOL and Tecnológico de Monterrey facilities in Mexico. It was the first face to face meeting with our Mexican colleagues and it was a great opportunity to discuss latest results of our experiments. Swansea University Team in this project Robert Bob W Lovitt, Carole A Llewellyn, Alla Silkina, Darren Oatley-Radcliffe Tecnológico de Monterrey colleagues Saul García @Gibran Aleman Nava, INECOL team @Eugenia Olguínmexico-visit-tec-1

The 6th Congress of the International Society for Applied Phycology

La Cité  Nantes Events Center will host the 6th ISAP congress  from the 18th to 23rd of June 2017 at Nantes (Western France).

“Previous ISAP Congresses have seen the role of applied algal biotechnology and their potential developed in a commercial, remedial or regulatory context. In 2017 the scope of the 6th edition of ISAP congress is to appreciate the huge phycological biodiversity and the diversity of its biotechnological applications through the prism of a new and promising industrial sector in full development. The Congress will include speakers and posters presentations, exhibitors and for the first time a BtoB session to meet the right partners.”

The early bird registration is now opened and will close on the 15th of March.

Felloships are offered for students and young researchers by the Global Seaweed Network, ISAP and EABA (European Algae Biomass Association).

Trending Research published by Dr Carole Llewellyn

Taylor & Francis selected as a highlight a review published by Dr Carole Llewellyn (AlgaeWales team member) in the European Journal of Phycology on Cyanobacterial metabolites as a source of sunscreens and moisturizers.

The article is now trending and reviews the diverse beneficial impacts of cyanobacterial metabolites and emphasize on the many oppurtinuties to use these high value products in cosmetics which is a booming industry for the use of Algae.

You can read the full article here

Abstract :

The recognition that ultraviolet radiation has harmful effects on the skin has led to the commercial development of inorganic and synthetic organic UV filters that can reduce the negative effects of exposure to sunlight. In addition, moisturizing chemicals are extensively used in personal care products to improve the ability of skin to retain water. Whilst current UV filter and moisturizing chemicals have clear beneficial qualities, they may also have adverse effects such as contact sensitivity, oestrogenicity and even tumorigenic effects on human skin. Furthermore, the accumulation of these chemicals in the aquatic environment could be potentially harmful. Consequently, there is interest in exploiting safer alternatives derived from biological sources, especially from photosynthetic organisms such as cyanobacteria which have developed mechanisms for coping with high UV irradiation and desiccation. In order to overcome the detrimental effects of UV radiation, these microorganisms produce UV screening compounds such as mycosporine-like amino acids and scytonemin, which are good candidates as alternatives to current synthetic UV filters. In addition, extracellular substances produced by some extremophilic species living in hyper-arid habitats have a high water retention capacity and could be used in cosmetic products as moisturizers. In this review, we present an overview of the literature describing the potential of cyanobacterial metabolites as an alternative source for sunscreens and moisturizers.

Upcoming course on collecting and identifying seaweeds

The British Phycological Society in association with the Marine Biological Association of the UK will be running a COURSE on COLLECTING AND IDENTIFYING SEAWEEDS. 

The course will take place in the Marine Biological Association, Plymouth from the 25th to 27th April 2017. The course will cover several key topics including:

  • Water Framework Directive Species Identification
  • Preserving seaweeds for a variety of different purposes
  • Making a herbarium with necessary notes
  • Preparing specimens for DNA extraction and analysis techniques
  • Culture of seaweeds for research purposes

For more information and Application forms, please click here

Fees are payable in advance (before January 31st 2017) to MarineSeen.

PhycoPigments: Novel manufacturing methods for high value pigments products from microalgae

PhycoPigment is a collaboration of academics and industry in UK :Dr Alla SilkinaDr Claudio Fuentes Grunewald, Dr Carole Llewellyn (Swansea University) and Membranology Ltd with Mexico partners (INECOL, Tecnológico de Monterrey and ALTESO) that aims to develop novel production-process technologies for a range of high value protein based water soluble pigments from microalgae from laboratory up to demonstration. The resultant materials produced would be of sufficient quantities to allow for testing and assessment as a high-quality additive for food and other pharmaceutical applications. This will involve investigating microalgae production methods in a range of photobioreactors with innovative enhanced induction processes. Novel environmentally friendly extraction and purification procedures will be developed based on the use of scalable membrane technology to increase the value of the products. The sterile final products will be as natural additives in a range of foods, beverages, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical products. The resultant demonstration scale process will be evaluated for its economic, social and environmental benefits as applied in Mexico and the UK and will be a firm foundation for impact in the longer term. The 2 years (2016-2018) project is sponsored by Innovate UK and CONACYT under the Newton Mexico fund.

Algaewales at the BPS Winter Meeting

AlgaeWales team members represented Swansea University at the British Phycology Society Winter meeting organised at Bangor University on the 11th, 12th and 13th of January.

The conference was the oppurtunity for Algaewales to present the diversity of its research thanks to 3 oral presentations and 1 poster presentation : wp_20170112_13_50_23_pro

Alla Silkina : “An algal-bacteria consortium for successful waste remediation and probiotic effect for aquaculture feeding”

Fleuriane Fernandes : “Use of FTIR spectrophotometry to monitor post-harvest treatments in seaweeds for enhancement of macromolecular composition”

Kevin Flynn : “A new paradigm for marine planktonic primary production”

Jessica Knoop : “Seasonal observation of life history stages and population dynamics of the red alga Porphyra dioica in South Wales”

Grants available for algae research students

Applications for the Paul C. Silva Student Grants are due December 31, 2016!

These grants support graduate students attending meetings or
performing research on algae. Details can be found on the IPS webpage.
More info can be found International Phycological Society

Short course on Plant Taxonomy including macroalgae

The Natural History Museum will be running a 5 day course on macroalgae taxonomy, from the 6 – 10th of March, 2017.

<!– The course is available to environmental science researchers and PhD students. There are 24 spaces available, and priority will be given to those with NERC funding.

For further information click here

Featured image by G. Horeau

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