Promising bioprospecting results and establishing outdoor production systems under extremely different climatic conditions
The MIRACLES project has defined a need to identify more robust, highly productive strains in orderto unlock the full industrial potential of microalgae. One of the main focuses of MIRACLES is on bioprospecting these new, robust and productive algal isolates to evaluate their industrial potential.
The WP2 bioprospecting campaign, which has involved continuous sampling in Norway, Spain and Chile, has so far resulted in 350 established clonal isolates. All these novel isolates are subject to cultivation experiments and systematic evaluation of their industrial potential. So far, screening has identified 14 isolates as being commercially promising based on various properties requested by MIRACLES industry partners. The selected isolates are being characterised in more detail by WP2 bioprospecting partners, but samples will also be distributed to WP3 and WP4 partners for further biochemical analysis and functional evaluation by the industry partners themselves.
Outdoor cultivation of selected algal strains that are adapted to extreme climatological conditions is now being evaluated. In 2015, both the MIRACLES partners in Bergen and Las Palmas acquired, installed and set up identical GWP-III reactor systems for this purpose. These cultivation systems will be used to compare and monitor how different climates and varying environmental conditions affect the growth, biochemical profiles and commercial potential of standard microalgae strains. This will contribute to an assessment of cultivation in areas with a limited potential for agriculture, and will help broaden the resource base and product portfolio of the algae industry.