Immobilization of Diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum with Filamentous Fungi and Its Kinetics

Tyler J. Barzee, Hamed M. El-Mashad, Andrew R. Burch, Annaliese K. Franz, Ruihong Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Immobilizing microalgae cells in a hyphal matrix can simplify harvest while producing novel mycoalgae products with potential food, feed, biomaterial, and renewable energy applications; however, limited quantitative information to describe the process and its applicability under various conditions leads to difficulties in comparing across studies and scaling-up. Here, we demonstrate the immobilization of both active and heat-deactivated marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum (UTEX 466) using different loadings of fungal pellets (Aspergillus sp.) and model the process through kinetics and equilibrium models. Active P. tricornutum cells were not required for the fungal-assisted immobilization process and the fungal isolate was able to immobilize more than its original mass of microalgae. The Freundlich isotherm model adequately described the equilibrium immobilization characteristics and indicated increased normalized algae immobilization (g algae removed/g fungi loaded) under low fungal pellet loadings. The kinetics of algae immobilization by the fungal pellets were found to be adequately modeled using both a pseudo-second order model and a model previously developed for fungal-assisted algae immobilization. These results provide new insights into the behavior and potential applications of fungal-assisted algae immobilization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-259
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • Aspergillus sp.
  • Freundlich isotherm
  • Microalgae immobilization
  • Phaeodactylum tricornutum
  • fungi
  • heat-deactivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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