Monitoring lipid accumulation in the green microalga Botryococcus braunii with frequency-modulated stimulated Raman scattering
Proceedings of SPIE
Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
This is the final version of the article. Available from SPIE via the DOI in this record.
© 2015 SPIE.The potential of microalgae as a source of renewable energy has received considerable interest because they can produce lipids (fatty acids and isoprenoids) that can be readily converted into biofuels. However, significant research in this area is required to increase yields to make this a viable renewable source of energy. An analytical tool that could provide quantitative in situ spectroscopic analysis of lipids synthesis in individual microalgae would significantly enhance our capability to understand the synthesis process at the cellular level and lead to the development of strategies for increasing yield. Stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) microscopy has great potential in this area however, the pump-probe signal from two-color two-photon absorption of pigments (chlorophyll and carotenoids) overwhelm the SRS signal and prevent its application. Clearly, the development of a background suppression technique is of significant value for this important research area. To overcome the limitation of SRS in pigmented specimens, we establish a frequency-modulated stimulated Raman scattering (FM-SRS) microscopy that eliminates the non-Raman background by rapidly toggling on-and-off the targeted Raman resonance. Moreover, we perform the background-free imaging and analysis of intracellular lipid droplets and extracellular hydrocarbons in a green microalga with FM-SRS microscopy. We believe that FM-SRS microscopy demonstrates the potential for many applications in pigmented cells and provides the opportunity for improved selective visualization of the chemical composition of algae and plants.
We thank Delong Zhang at Purdue University for fruitful discussion. This research was supported by grants (BB/K013602/1) from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Syngenta.
Proceedings of SPIE, 2015, Vol. 9329