ISSN (print) 0868-8540, (online) 2413-5984
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Algologia 2017, 27(4): 403–414
Physiology, Biochemistry, Biophysics

Rapid method for simultaneous discrimination of microalgae and determination on biochemical composition based on vibrational spectroscopy

Sureshkumar P.1, Thomas J.1, Sivasubramanian J.2

Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy is a high-resolution spectroscopic method used in whole-organism molecular fingerprinting. This analysis helps for the characteristic determination of macromolecular spectrum in intact cells. Spectral analysis can discriminate, classify, and identify the microorganisms as composition of macromolecules is different between strains of the same species. In the present investigation, four different microalgae were studied for their variations in spectral data, which showed striking differences on their major macromolecules. Scenedesmus obliquus (Turp.) Kütz. have intense peaks in the lipids and protein spectral regions when compared to the other species. Chlorella vulgaris Beij., Ch. pyrenedosa Chick and Euglena gracilis Klebs possessed moderate and less intense peaks in sub sequential order in all the five spectral regions. Using FT-IR spectra, hierarchical clustering analyses resulted in a dendrogram with clear discrimination between species according to their phenotype variations. To support this, phylogenetic analysis using 16S rDNA microbial barcode sequences of these microalgal strains was evaluated and the resulting phylogram showed the same cluster pattern as revealed by FT-IR based dendrogram. Hence, this study concludes that the combination of phylogenetic analysis and the FT-IR spectra provides an effective way of distinguishing the species as well as the advantage of simultaneous determination of biochemical composition of the species.

Keywords: FT-IR spectra, microalgae, cluster analysis, phylogenetic analysis, species discrimination, fingerprint, biochemical composition

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