Tolerance to allelopathic inhibition by free fatty acids in five biofuel candidate microalgae strains

Published: 9 January 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/vpfkpp42bh.1
Patrick Thomas


Data accompanying the manuscript "Tolerance to allelopathic inhibition by free fatty acids in five biofuel candidate microalgae strains" ( This includes 3 data files and a README to explain variables in the 3 files. It also contains a .Rmd file with the R code used for all analyses in the manuscript. Abstract: Contaminating organisms (grazers, pathogens, competitors) and self-inhibition by algae-produced allelopathic chemicals are two issues that may limit the productivity of algal cultivation for bioproducts. One potential solution is to identify algal strains that are not affected by allelopathic inhibition even while undesirable organisms are suppressed. Here we used two experiments to test how sensitivity to allelopathy varies across algae. In the first experiment, we tested the sensitivity of five biofuel candidate green algae strains to two allelopathic compounds (i.e., free fatty acids) and found that the degree of inhibition depends strongly on both the species and specific compound. In the second experiment, we exposed one alga (Chlorella) to the sterile-filtered medium of each species, and found that the concentration of free fatty acids released into the media predicted Chlorella's growth response. This provides a better understanding of how the production of, and sensitivity to, allelopathic compounds determines algal productivity.


Steps to reproduce

The analysis performed in our manuscript can be repeated using the 3 .csv data files and the .Rmd file included. The data should be placed in a working directory such that R can locate and read the files- if this is done, then the R code will read in and analyze all data with no modifications to the R code. Additionally, the R code is fully annotated to explain what each piece of code does. The included README file gives detailed information on each column of data and its units.


Ecology, Chemical Ecology, Algae Extraction, Bioenergy, Pest Control, Biofuels from Algae, Algal Cultivation, Crop Management, Algae as Food, Crop Protection, Algal Physiology, Free Fatty Acids