Low doses of the quaternary ammonium salt Cetyltrimethylammonium bromide can be used as a pesticide to control grazers in microalgal cultures

Bert Deruyck, Thi Kim Hue Nguyen, Praveen Ramasamy, Koenraad Muylaert

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Contamination of large-scale microalgal cultures by grazers can cause huge losses in biomass productivity. Here we propose the use of a quaternary ammonium salt cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) to eradicate three types of commonly occurring grazers in microalgal cultures: the rotifer Brachionus, the ciliate Sterkiella and the flagellate Paraphysomonas. Low, premicellar doses (≤3 μM) of CTAB rapidly eradicated (within 1–2 d) all three tested grazers from microalgal cultures without significant losses (p < 0.05) in microalgal productivity. However, doses exceeding 5 μM also negatively affected microalgal growth. The optimal dose of CTAB that resulted in complete eradication of the grazers with minimum impact on microalgal productivity was 3 μM for Brachionus, 2 μM for Sterkiella and 3 μM for Paraphysomonas. Thus, being a readily available chemical, CTAB has the potential to be used as a fast-acting, low-cost control agent against a range of frequently occurring grazer types in large-scale microalgal cultures.
TidsskriftAlgal Research
StatusUdgivet - 2019

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