THE EFFECTS OF ELECTRIC AND MAGNETIC FIELDS ON THE BIOHYDROGEN PRODUCING CYANOBACTERIA ANABAENA VARIABILIS
Luis Galindo, Halil Berberoglu.
The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX.
The aim of this research is to study the effects of electric and magnetic fields on the growth and metabolic behavior of the nitrogen fixing cyanobacteria Anabaena variabilis. The study will provide scientific knowledge into the usage of A. variabilis for biofuel applications. Since there is an all-time high of carbon dioxide concentrations in recent decades, there is strong push toward developing and innovating technologies to reduce rising temperatures. This species when grown in the right conditions is capable of producing biohydrogen that could be captured and used as a clean alternative fuel. In this study, A. variabilis will be subjected to various magnitudes of electric and magnetic fields to determine a possible optimum threshold that increases growth rate and biohydrogen production. The metabolic behavior will be quantified by recording changes in protein using the standard Bradford assay and the phenol-sulfuric acid method for carbohydrate production along with recording any fluctuations in the hydrogenase enzyme using western blot analysis. The species will be exposed to external electric and magnetic fields of 10kV/cm-40kV/cm and 10 mT-100 mT, respectively. It is anticipated that results will enhance growth rate and inflate biohydrogen production. This research will further strengthen the usage of A. variabilis in clean alternative energy technologies to help suppress carbon dioxide concentration.