Background: Amelioration of biofuel feedstock of microalgae using sustainable means through synthetic ecology is a promising strategy. The co-cultivation model (Tetraselmis striata and Pelagibaca bermudensis) was evaluated for the robust biofuel production under varying stressors as well as with the selected two-stage cultivation modes. In addition, the role of metabolic exudates including the quorum-sensing precursors was assessed. Results: The co-cultivation model innovated in this study supported the biomass production of T. striata in a saline/marine medium at a broad range of pH, salinity, and temperature/light conditions, as well as nutrient limitation with a growth promotion of 1.2-3.6-fold. Hence, this developed model could contribute to abiotic stress mitigation of T. striata. The quorum-sensing precursor dynamics of the growth promoting bacteria P. bermudensis exhibited unique pattern under varying stressors as revealed through targeted metabolomics (using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, LC-MS). P. bermudensis and its metabolic exudates mutually promoted the growth of T. striata, which elevated the lipid productivity. Interestingly, hydroxy alkyl quinolones independently showed growth inhibition of T. striata on elevated concentration. Among two-stage cultivation modes (low pH, elevated salinity, and nitrate limitation), specifically, nitrate limitation induced a 1.5 times higher lipid content (30-31%) than control in both axenic and co-cultivated conditions. Conclusion: Pelagibaca bermudensis is established as a potential growth promoting native phycospheric bacteria for robust biomass generation of T. striata in varying environment, and two-stage cultivation using nitrate limitation strategically maximized the biofuel precursors for both axenic and co-cultivation conditions (T and T-PB, respectively). Optimum metabolic exudate of P. bermudensis which act as a growth substrate to T. striata surpasses the antagonistic effect of excessive hydroxy alkyl quinolones [HHQ, 4-hydroxy-2-alkylquinolines and PQS (pseudomonas quorum signal), 2-heptyl-3-hydroxy-4(1H)-quinolone].
- Quorum-sensing precursor
- Two-stage cultivation