Association of heterotrophic bacteria with aggregated Arthrospira platensis exopolysaccharides: implications in the induction of axenic cultures
Inducing an axenic culture of the edible cyanobacterium Arthrospira (Spirulina) platensis using differential filtration alone is never successful; thus, it has been thought that, in non-axenic cultures, a portion of contaminating bacteria is strongly associated with Arthrospira cells. However, examination of the behavior of these bacteria during filtration revealed that they were not associated with Arthrospira cells but with aggregates of exopolysaccharides present in the medium away from the Arthrospira cells. Based on this finding, a rapid and reliable method for preparing axenic trichomes of A. platensis was established. After verifying the axenicity of the resulting trichomes on enriched agar plates, they were individually transferred to fresh sterile medium using a handmade tool, a microtrowel, to produce axenic cultures. With this technique, axenic cultures of various A. platensis strains were successfully produced. The technique described in this study is potentially applicable to a wider range of filamentous cyanobacteria.