[Chen, Wei; Sommerfeld, Milton; Hu, Qiang] Arizona State Univ, Dept Appl Sci & Math, Mesa, AZ 85212 USA; [Chen, Wei] Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Hydrobiol, State Key Lab Freshwater Ecol & Biotechnol, Wuhan 430072, Hubei, Peoples R China
In vivo determination of neutral lipids with Nile red fluorescence has been used as a rapid screening method for certain types of microalgae, but has been unsuccessful in others, particularly those with thick, rigid cell walls that prevent penetration of the fluorescence dye into the cell. To solve the problem, a microwave-assisted Nile red staining method for microalgal lipid determination was developed. In a two-step staining protocol, 50 and 60 s were selected as the optimal microwave times for the pretreatment and staining process, respectively. Moreover, several calibration methods for quantitative analysis of neutral lipids in microalgae were investigated and compared with conventional gravimetric methods. Factors that affected the in vivo quantification of cellular neutral lipids were also investigated. Application of the new method for detection and quantification of neutral lipids in a number of green microalgae was demonstrated. Published by Elsevier Ltd.