Algae Research Supply: Algae Culture Nannochloropsis

Algae Research Supply


Nannochloropsis is a genus of alga within the heterokont line of eukaryotes it is being investigated for biofuel production. Some Nannochloropsis species have been shown to be suitable for algal biofuel production due to its ease of growth and high oil content (28.7% of dry weight), mainly unsaturated fatty acids and a significant percentage of palmitic acid. It also contains enough unsaturated fatty acid linolenic acid and polyunsaturated acid (>4 double bonds) for a quality biodiesel.

Nannochloropsis is a bulldog of an algae strain.  It is great for science projects as it stays in suspension (it has a very negatively charged cell surface). 

Science project ideas include killing it by varying means (salt, chlorine bleach, too much light, heat, motor oil, sun screen...) or getting it to grow.  Consider measuring the density of the algae over time to quantify growth rate (use or secchi stick to do this.)

Nannochloropsis is another of our favorite algae to grow.  We like it for so many reasons we made bullet points!

  • It is difficult to kill, allowing even rookies to seem like professionals
  • Nannochloropsis is also euryhaline, which means that it can tolerate a wide range of salinity.  
  • The cell surface is very negatively charged, meaning that it will repel it brother and sister cells.  The effect is that it stays in suspension (does not sink easily) very well.  
  • Honestly, it is really pretty.  Very green and healthy looking.  Put a flask on your desk and it will grow happily and make you smile when you see it.  


Should I order a the CULTURE or the CULTURING KIT?  

The culture is just that- algae culture in a bottle.  

The culturing kit is (1) algae culture, (2) algae culturing salts, (3) algae culturing nutrients.

The KIT will get you to a total volume that is much greater than the initial volume of the culture.