Search for growth and productivity stimulators of microalgae Chlorella vulgaris


Biomass and metabolites of the unicellular green algae Chlorella vulgaris are used or have prospects of application in various fields: food industry, agriculture, fish farming, production of cosmetics and medicines (see the table below).


The objective of our research is to search for small organic molecules (molecules with a molecular weight of less than 1 kDa) that affect the growth of Chlorella and the production of valuable metabolites by its cells. To reach this goal, we use a screening method: we add various chemical molecules to the algae culture (mainly from the group of heterocyclic compounds) and after a few days we measure change of biomass in control and experimental samples. Substances that increase the cell growth, we subject to further, more detailed study.


Our scientific partners in this work are the Department of Organic Chemistry of the Chemical Faculty of the Perm State University and the Laboratory of Agrobiophotonics of the Perm Federal Research Center of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Figure. A - screening of chemicals in 96-well plate; B - plates in the humid chamber illuminated with a white LED array
Applications of metabolites from Chlorella sp.

Primary metabolites
Group Metabolite Application Reference
Chlorophylls Chlorophyll A Production of antioxidants 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2020.735562
Chlorophyll B
Proteins and amino acids Mycosporine-like amino acids Anticancer agents 10.1016/j.sjbs.2017.11.003
Fatty acids Linolenic, palmitoleic Antiinflammatory agents 10.1016/j.plipres.2018.07.001
Carbohydrates β-1,3-glucan Immunostimulants that reduce the amount of free radicals and cholesterol in the blood 10.1155/2015/835761
Rhamnose Production of biofuels, production of highly sulfated polysaccharides (antiviral agents) 10.1016/j.rser.2014.04.007
Vitamins Thiamine (B1) Food supplements 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2020.735562
Cyanocobalamin (B12)
Pyridoxine (B6)
Biotin (B7)
Retinol (A) Cosmetology (acne teratment) 10.1016/j.rser.2014.04.007
Secondary metabolites
Group Metabolite Application Reference
Alkaloids Food additives, antioxidants 10.1002/jsfa.6023
Fatty acids Oleic acid IFlavorings, emulsifiers, paper production 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2020.735562
Isoprenoids Sterol Antioxidants
Carotenoids (xanthophylls and carotenes) Astaxanthin Component of fish feed 10.1155/2015/835761
Lutein Pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industries 10.1002/jsfa.60231
α-carotene 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2020.735562
β-carotene 10.1002/jsfa.60231