Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

First Advisor

Dr. Michael Persans

Second Advisor

Dr. Hudson DeYoe

Third Advisor

Dr. Erin Schuenzel


An alternative source for petroleum-based crude oils are algae derived biofuels. Fossil fuels are harmful for the environment, expensive and becoming scarce. There has been an increase in research on environmentally sustainable energy, using lipids derived from microalgae, which can be converted into biofuel. The use of microalgae as a source for biofuels has a lot of benefits including decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, rapid fuel production, absorption of carbon dioxide, and production of a renewable source of energy.

Algae cryopreservation aids in the maintenance of the best algae strains selected for producing lipids for biofuels. Cryopreservation will help minimize genetic drift that occurs due to multiple passages of algal cultures, as well as facilitating strain and clone exchange between research labs. Overall, culture maintenance, labor and costs will be reduced. Currently the majority of algae cryopreservation methods require storage in liquid nitrogen which is expensive and inconvenient due to the need of specialized containers and a constant liquid nitrogen supply. Research on faster, more cost effective and less technically complex cryopreservation method that can be used for a wide variety of algae is needed in the field. In this study, we tried to apply four different methods to optimize the cryopreservation of algae in a -80 ºC freezer. The most effective method was the GeneArt cryopreservation technique at 36 hours (96.13% cell viability), and the least effective was the Glycerol at 84 hours (86.37% cell viability)..


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