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IARRP Team Develops Phosphorus Hyperaccumulator Algae Strains for Efficient Recycling of Phosphorus in Water

Source: Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning

The Innovation Team of Soil-Plant Interactions of the Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning (IARRP) of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) has developed a phosphorus hyperaccumulator algae strain, which can efficiently recycle phosphorus in water. It can provide technical support for realizing a cycle of phosphorus and promoting green development of agriculture.

The relevant research results were published in  Plant Biotechnology Journal .


Schematic diagram of the design of super-accumulating algae and the promotion of phosphorus closed loop [Photo/IARRP]

Microalgae have the characteristics of high photosynthetic efficiency and good carbon fixation performance. They can absorb a large amount of phosphorus in water and store it in the vacuole in the form of polyphosphoric acid. The widespread use of phosphate fertilizers in agricultural production not only aggravates the consumption of phosphate rock resources, but also leads to problems such as agricultural non-point source pollution.

This study analyzed the phosphorus balance mechanism in microalgal vacuoles, and developed a strain of phosphorus-hyperaccumulating algae using biotechnological methods, increasing its total phosphorus content to about 7% of dry weight, polyphosphate content in vacuoles by five times, and phosphorus recovery efficiency by about three times. Industrial cooperation research found that the algae strain showed good potential in agricultural phosphorus recovery, wastewater deep phosphorus removal and microalgae fertilizer production. The development and application of the algae strain is conducive to promoting the recycling and reuse of agricultural resources and promoting the sustainable development of agriculture.

The research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation and the Science and Technology Innovation Project of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.