Trial on Spirulina Cultivation conducted by Directorate of Bio-Technology:

Spirulina is an aquatic micro-organism often referred to as an algae, though it more closely resembles bacteria. It is used as a food supplement to combat malnutrition. 1 gram of Spirulina is said to be as nutritious as 100g of spinach or carrots, and is cheaper. Spirulina is technically called a blue –green algae.  Spirulina is dark green in colour due to its chlorophyll content. Spirulina has been used as a complementary dietary ingredient of feed for fish, shrimp and poultry and increasingly as a protein and vitamin supplement to aqua feeds.

Present price of Spirulina: 100 gms of spirilluna cost Rs 450/- apprx.

Morphology: Its cells from into long stands which look similar to coiled spring. And that’s exactly where the name comes from Spirulina means little spring.

Availability:  Spirulina occurs naturally in warm and highly alkaline lakes or shallow ponds of the tropics where it is very easy to harvest.  

                                                            

Natural composition:  Spirulina is an excellent source of proteins, vitamins and minerals. Proteins constitute about 60-70% of its dry weight containing high provitamin A (B –carotene), rich source of vitamin B12 , lipids about 4-7% and carbohydrate 13.6%.It provides  adequate amount of iron in anaemic pregnant women. It also has few natural pigments and antioxidant such as caroteniods, Chlorophyll a, phyococyanin Linolenic acid superoxide dismutase.

 Health benefits

1.   Builds immunity against infection, fights fatigue and stress

2.   Maintains healthy heart and provides a glowing skin.

3.   Lowers blood pressure, correct water balance and control diabetics.

4.   Relieve chronic fatigue syndrome.

5.   Natural sources of antioxidant, richest source of vitamin B12 reduce physical and mental stress.     

                                    

Initiative of Directorate of Biotechnology: The Directorate of biotechnology Has taken a maiden approach to conduct trail on spirulina cultivation through multiplication in laboratory condition. This has been initiated in a view to undertake its adaptability in Tripura condition. Though the trail has been conducted in laboratory but the steps undertaken is more or like in combination of laboratory and open condition. The trail conducted in a open glass box using one agitator & a bubble creating equipment. The solution has been prepared for spirulina cultivation with the combination of chemicals following the definite protocol. The glass box has been placed in a open window side so that to  the sub culture receive minimum requisite sunlight & aeration. The glass box has been kept in normal room condition (not aseptic) to observe its adaptability. The trail conducted between 27th July 2017 to 21st August 2017.The climatic condition during that period has been recorded as 35±2 C max tem & 24±2 C with a very high humidity of 80-95%.The humidity was high during that period due to the excessive rainfall experienced (17-18 days rainfall during that period).While conducting the trail the thrust has been given to scale up the pH level to the tune of 8 of the media. As spirulina thrives well in alkaline condition. The second important aspect of Spirulina cultivation has been found to be maintenance of proper  oxygen supply both by agitating the media and creating bubbles for its first growth and restrain appearance of other micro-organism.

Source of Mother culture of Spirulina:

Officials from Directorate of Biotechnology, Govt of Tripura has brought a mother culture of Spirulina namely Arthrospira platensis species from Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat for replicating the subculture of Spirulina for mass cultivation in Tripura.

 Suitable Conditions

Spirulina grows in solutions of specific minerals with the correct chemical balance and a pH of 8-11. It needs a minimum of 20˚C to grow substantially, though a temperature of 35-37˚C is most effective. A good amount of sunlight is useful if the culture has a reasonable temperature and concentration. At very low temperature, low concentration of culture, or a culture that is struggling to grow.

Protocol Used: In combination with a proven protocol by Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat and Protocol developed by Directorate of Bio-Technology, Tripura for sub culturing of  of Spirulina in the laboratory in order to mass multiplication in large scale. The liquid medium is a solution of mineral salts in water. The pH of culture medium was maintained between 8 to 9.An artificial aeration was maintained by agitator and Bubbler for a specific period of time. An natural sunlight was provided to sub culture.

Composition of liquid medium is given below

Sl No

Chemical Components

Concentration/L

1.

Sodium Bicarbonate

NaHCO3

8 gm/L

 

2.

Sea Salt

NaCl

5 gm/l

3.

Potassium Nitrate

KNO3

2 gm/L

4.

Magnesium sulphate

MgSO4.7 H2O

0.16gm/l

5.

Ammonium Phosphate

NH4PO4.12H2O

0.08gm/l

6.

Urea

CO(NH2)2

0.015 gm/l

7.

Iron Sulphate

FeSO4.7H2O

0.005g/l

8.

CaCl2/lime

CaCl2

0.4gm/l

Observation:

SL No.

Parameters

Duration

1.

Sunlight

Moderate  to low

2.

Aeration

i)             Agitator

 

ii)           Bubbler

4 times in a day for 10 mins at an interval of 2 hrs.

For 12 hrs at night.

3.

Temperature

35±2°C max tem & 24±2°C

4.

Change of colour of spiriluna media

0 day

7th day

14th day

21st day

Almost water colour

Light green colour

Green colour

Deep green colour

  

Harvesting: Harvesting of the culture was done on 25th day after the inoculation. Harvesting was accomplished by passing the culture through a filter paper with a mesh size about 30 to 50 micron

Findings  of the trial on Spirulina

1.   The maiden approach of Directorate of Bio-technology on cultivation of spiriluna Arthrospira platensis is found to be successful though more trails may be undertaken for its field level/ commercial production.

2.   The climatic condition of Tripura has been found to be suitable for the cultivation of spirulina.

3.   Rights protocol is indispensible for spirulina cultivation

4.   Measures to be taken for periodical agitation of media for restraining the stagnation state of media.

5.   The Spirulina harvested has been observed under the microscope has been apparently  found to be non-presence of other micro-organism (As observed under 40X stereo Binocular microscope). However, microscope of a better resolution may give more accurate result.

6.   Drier machine is required for post harvested spirulina materials.   Trail in the open tank is required for its mass and quick multiplication.