Conference 2021 Pre-Recorded Video


Project title

Identifying the consortia of opportunistic organisms through microbial assessments in Arthrospira platensis mass production tanks and its biological characterization; An effort to curb malnutrition


Authors and Affiliations

Sharvari Sawant1, Deepali Dande1, Dr. Rutwik Thengodkar1,

1. Cyanofarm Research Centre, Cyanohealth Pvt. Ltd. Mumbai, Maharashtra, India



Algal microfarms are expected to be ubiquitous over the world. In India, algal biomass with high ‘nutravalence’, are cultured to alleviate nutritional disorders viz.:Deficiency of vitamins, iron, zinc, etc. that is widely prevalent and are significant risk factors for ailment and death in India. In this study, we have attempted to identify the consortia of opportunistic organisms through microbial assessment in Spirulina mass production tank, that exhibits certain bacterial colonies whose characteristics, were elucidated to establish phenotypic, genotypic and evolutionary characteristics using bioinformatics approach. Apart from this, toxicological studies were performed on Poecilia sphenops and Poecilia reticulata to elucidate safety of the algal biomass produced in mass culturing. The outcomes of feeding provide us with an insight of the underpinning physiological reactions upon feed consumption.

Since; Microalgae are highly nutritious and are easily invaded by many opportunistic organisms; that can be pathogenic upon human consumption. Such study is required to standardize the bacteriological assessment to categorize “safe” organisms grown in culture, and their interactions which was done by characterising microbial load in Spirulina culture in 3 different conditions (Sterile, Semi-sterile and Open). Three novel organisms discovered were identified in this process using 16s rRNA sequencing. Standard bioinformatics tools were used to submit these on NCBI-NIH, US National Library of Medicine. One organism exhibited a probiotic while the other exhibited hydrocarbon degradation ability particularly toluene which is a potent mutagen; endowed with high neurotoxicity and is environmentally obnoxious. Homology studies were carried out on these organisms which tend to grow with such algal culture to develop a better understanding of ecological relationships which would aid in taking measures to avoid contamination, especially to advance modern nutritional science through adjunction of algae, cultivated indigenously as algae are broadly acknowledged as a rich source of protein and essential micronutrients deriving the popular term as ‘Superfood’.