Vonshak, Avigad
Professor, 2001
Research interests

1. The role of environmental factors, i.e., light, temperature, and salinity on the photosynthetic and respiratory activity of algae in an attempt to relate these parameters and their interactions to physiological phenomena in mass cultivation of algae. Particular attention is given to photoinhibition and modifications in PSII activity in Spirulina and its impact on outdoor productivity.

2. Strain selection and improvement in Spirulina. Different strains of Spirulina are collected and characterized on the basis of their physiological responses to light and temperature. Another approach is based on the efforts to develop a gene transfer system in Spirulina in order to be able and use molecular genetic approaches in the physiological studies.

3. The developmental and physiological changes in the course of carotenogenesis induction in Haematococcus pluvialis as correlated with the modification in the photosynthetic activity of the cells are investigated.


Chapters in Books

TMasojidek J, Vonshak A, Torzillo G (2011) Chlorophyll fluorescence applications in microalgal mass cultures. In: Suggett DJ, Prásil O, Borowitzka MA (eds) Chlorophyll a fluorescence in aquatic science: Methods and applications. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 277-292.

Silli C., Torzillo G. and Vonshak A. Arthrospira (Spirulina) In: Ecology of Cyanobacteria. II. Their Diversity in Space and Time. Whitton, B.A. (Ed.), Springer, 2012, pp. 677-705.

Torzillo, G. and Vonshak, A. Environmental stress physiology. In Microalgal Culture: Biotechnology and Applied Phycology and Biotechnology. Richmond, A. (Ed.). 2nd edition Blackwell Science, 2013, pp. 90-113.


Recent publications

Torzillo, G., Pushparaj, B., Masojidek, J. and Vonshak, A. Biological constrains in algal biotechnology. Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering, 8:338-348, 2003.

Torzillo, G. and Vonshak, A. Biotechnology for Algal Mass Cultivation. In: Recent Advances in Marine Biotechnology, Vol. 9. Biomaterials and B ioprocessing.Fingerman, M. and Nagabhushanam, R. (Eds.). Science Publishers, Inc. 45-77, 2003.

Vonshak, A. and Torzillo, G. Environmental stress physiology. In: Microalgal Culture: Biotechnology and Applied Phycology. Richmond, A. (Ed.). Blackwell Science, pp. 57-82, 2004.

Vonshak, A, and Novoplansky, N. Acclimation to low temperature of two Arthrospira platensis ( Cyanobacteria ) strains involves down-regulation of PSII and improved resistance to photoinhibition. J. Phycol. 44: 1071–1079, 2008

Fedoroff, N.V., Battisti, D.S., Beachy, R.N., Cooper, P.J.M., Fischhoff, D.A., Hodges, C.N., Knauf, V.C., Lobell, D., Mazur, B.J., Molden, D., Reynolds, M.P., Ronald, P.C., Rosegrant, M.W., Sanchez, P.A., Vonshak, A. and Zhu, J.-K. Radically Rethinking Agriculture for the 21st Century. Science, 327: 833-34, 2010.

Chien, L-F. and Vonshak, A. Enzymatic antioxidant response to low-temperature acclimation in the cyanobacterium Arthrospira platensis. Journal of Applied Phycology, 23: 887-894, 2011.

Vonshak, A, Laorawat, S., Bunnag, B, and M. Tanticharoen. The effect of light availability on the photosynthetic activity and productivity of outdoor cultures of Arthrospira platensis (Spirulina), Journal of Applied Phycology, 2013 in press .