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Nile Red assay development for the estimation of neutral lipids in Chlorella emersonii and Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata

Authors
  • Priyanka, Priyanka1
  • Kinsella, Gemma K.1
  • Henehan, Gary T.1
  • Ryan, Barry1
  • 1 School of Food Science and Environmental Health, College of Sciences and Health, Technological University Dublin, Ireland , (Ireland)
Type
Published Article
Journal
The EuroBiotech Journal
Publisher
Sciendo
Publication Date
Oct 21, 2020
Volume
4
Issue
4
Pages
216–222
Identifiers
DOI: 10.2478/ebtj-2020-0025
Source
De Gruyter
License
Green

Abstract

Fluorescent dyes offer a useful method for the measurement of intracellular lipids. They are inexpensive and require simple optical measurement instrumentation, whilst simultaneously providing high throughput application. Nile Red is a hydrophobic, metachromatic dye which has been widely used for detection of intracellular lipids. However, Nile Red fluorescence depends on its concentration, microenvironment polarity, incubation time and, therefore, requires strain specific optimization. Hence, neutral lipids in Chlorella emersonii and Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata cannot be quantified using existing Nile Red methods developed for other microalgae strains and, therefore an optimised procedure for these strains is required. In this method development, the optimal excitation and emission wavelengths were selected based on the solvent used for Nile Red dissolution. The effect of Nile Red concentration, microalgae cell concentration, incubation time on fluorescence intensity was explored and optimised. Quintuplet assay repeats were executed for increased assay robustness for two microalgae strains, Chlorella emersonii and Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata, with protocol reliability confirmed by fluorescence microscopy. In brief, 20% (v/v) DMSO containing 10μg/ml and 5μg/ml Nile red was found to be ideal concentration for neutral lipid estimation in Chlorella emersonii and Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata respectively when an incubation time of 60mins and 40mins at 40°C was used. This optimised Nile Red protocol is a robust, simple and cost-effective method for neutral lipid quantification in Chlorella emersonii and Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata.

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