The partitioning of electrons photosynthetically fixed in carbon by the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 was evaluated for up to 24-day batch cultures continuously exposed to incident light intensity (LI) from 111 to 598 μEm-2 s-1. The fate of fixed electrons was assayed by Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) in biomass, generic soluble microbial products (SMP), and excreted laurate (for a modified strain). Because SMP is not a valuable product, light energy embedded in SMP is wasted. Normalized to the total COD (TCOD), wild-type Synechocystis partitioned 75-84% of its TCOD in particulate biomass and 16-25% in generic SMP. A strain modified to excrete lauric acid partitioned 6.6%-10% of its TCOD in laurate, 21%-30% in generic SMP, and 64%-69% in particulate biomass. The greatest electron partitioning in SMP occurred with the highest LI tested, which suggests that moderating the LI in the photobioreactor is a promising mean to accentuate the production of valuable forms of photosynthetically fixed electrons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-242
Number of pages6
JournalBiomass and Bioenergy
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Electron partition
  • Laurate
  • Light intensity
  • Photoautotroph
  • SMP
  • Synechocystis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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