Symbiotic association of microalgae and plants in deep water culture system
In this study, microalgae culture (Chlorella vulgaris) and mint seedlings (Mentha spp.) were combined in a hydroponic system to improve plant growth. Mint seedlings were grown both in microalgae-containing and in microalgae-free trial groups, and both groups were subjected to aerated and non-aerated conditions to show the effect of aeration and microalgae co-cultivation on the mint weight and height. The plant quality was also determined with color measurements of the mint leaves. Our results have revealed the symbiotic life of the mint plant placed in the hydroponic system with microalgae and demonstrated improved mint growth and quality. This co-cultivation system is also potentially more environmentally friendly compared to growing microalgae and mint independently because of lower cost of aeration and mixing for microalgae cultivation, higher nutrient consumption efficiency, and reduced nutrient outflow.