Experimental facilities

DUAL-PAM-100 (pulse-amplitude modulation) fluorimeter (Heinz-Waltz, Effeltrich, Germany) (1 unit): it represents a world-wide used system of multispectral kinetic fluorescence analysis. It allows the photosynthetic characterization of microalgal samples exploiting in vivo chlorophyll fluorescence. Used for PSII function during photosynthesis, ETR and NPQ activation / relaxation kinetics evaluation.


CIRAS-1 Portable Photosynthesis System (PP Systems) (1 unit): This instrument is a CO2 and Gas analyzer. It includes an infrared source, highly polished, gold plated sample cells and detectors that are optimized for CO2 (4.26 µm) and H2O (2.60 µm). The analyzers act as absorptiometers measuring infrared absorption only.  The optical bench is temperature controlled and pressure compensated ensuring the most accurate measurement of CO2 and H2O under changing ambient conditions.


FluorCam FC-800-C (PSI: Photon Systems Instruments, Czech Republic) (1 unit): closed FluorCam FC 800-C represents a highly innovative, world-wide used system of multispectral kinetic fluorescence imaging. It consists of a CCD camera and four fixed LED panels. The LED panels provide uniform irradiance over samples up to 13 x 13 cm – suitable for processing several algal samples at a time. It allows the photosynthetic characterization of multiple microalgal samples exploiting in vivo chlorophyll fluorescence. Used for PSII function during photosynthesis and NPQ activation / relaxation kinetics evaluation.


Joliot-type spectrophotometer – JTS-10 (BioLogic – Science Instruments) (1 unit): this instrument is designed for electron transfer studies in photosynthetic organisms via fluorescence and absorption changes. It also provides information about the antenna size of photosystem II, through the exploitation of fluorescence induction kinetics. Applications in fluorescence: fluorescence monitoring under a continuous illumination and Non-Photochemical quenching (NPQ) estimation. Applications in absorbance mode: P700 and plastocyanin absorption changes, linear vs cyclic electron flow estimations.


LED lamp SL3500 (30x20cm) + controller LC100 (PSI: Photon System instruments, Czech Republic) (4 units): LED lampconsists of arrays of high-performance light emitting diodes (LEDs) that are easily controllable in timing – from μs to hours – and intensity. These LED lamps are supplemented with the Light Controller LC 100, and then can operate in multiple regimes: flash, continuous light, harmonically modulated light, or they can work with user-defined light modulation protocols.


Cary-100 Spectrophotometer (Agilent Technologies) and Unicam UV500 (1 unit + 1 unit): both areUV-visible spectrophotometers with a versatile set of accessories for routine laboratory work. They are used to measure the optical density of microalage cultures, to perform the absorption spectra for pigment content evaluation and identification.


Fluorometer (Olis) (1 unit): it is used for emission spectra evaluations. It is widely applied for microalgae lipid content estimation after incubation with Nile-Red.


Optical microscope Optech B5 HP: Optech B5 HP model is equipped with high brightness, lighting from Köhler giving more contrast to the observed samples. Objective: 25/40, 10/0, 25, 40/10 and 40/65 are available.


Multi-Cultivator MC 1000-OD (PSI: Photon System instruments, Czech Republic) (2 units): This growing system serves for small scale algae cultivation in 8 simultaneous different growing conditions in terms of light intensity, media composition and CO2 supply. The instrument represents a perfect solution in applications requiring diverse experimental variants. Organism growth can be estimated by measuring optical density (at 680 nm and 720 nm) which is periodically monitored by the Multi-Cultivator itself.


Growth chambers (6 units): they provide a temperature controlledenvironment for microalgae growth. The PAR-Lab counts 4 growth chambers for a total of 26 m2 surface dedicated to microalgae growth.


Clark-type O2 electrode (Hansatech, Norfolk, UK) (1 unit): this instrument leads to the evaluation of the oxygen evolution activity of photosynthetic samples in vivo. The measurements obtained provide a clear evaluation of samples photosynthetic activity, in response to increasing light intensities (thanks to the illumination with a halogen lamp – KL 1500, Schott, Germany)


Agilent Technologies 1100 series – High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) (1 unit): This instrument leads to the exploitation a technique used to separate components in a mixture, to identify and quantify them.It is widely used to separate single pigments molecules from a total cell extract and to evaluate pigments content and their identification.


Cellometer Auto X4 (Nexcelom Bioscence) (1 unit): this instrument provides a time-saving method for cells counting from biological samples: it is widely used for growth curves monitoring and growth kinetics evaluation.


Clarus 500 Gas Chromatograph (Perkin Elmer) (1 unit): it is used as a versatile instrument to analyze metabolites identity and quantification from complex biological mixture. In literature it is well documented its use to asses fatty acids composition, as metabolites composition and quantification from microalgal samples.


FluoTime 200 (Picoquant) Modular Fluorescence Lifetime Spectrometer (1 unit): It is a high performance fluorescence lifetime system featuring modular construction, single photon timing sensitivity and research flexibility. It contains the complete optics and electronics for recording fluorescence decays by means of Time-Correlated Single Photon Counting (TCSPC) and/or Multi-Channel Scaling (MCS). The system is optimized for high temporal resolution and can be used with femtosecond or picosecond lasers.


Par-Lab, as part of the Biology Department of Padova University, has the access to specific department facilities, which include:

TEM, SEM (transmission and scanning electron microscopy), Confocal, Fluorescence and optical microscopy: These instruments lead to a morphological and ultrastructural analysis of the cell and its components: the facility includes transmission microscopy on ultra-thin sections, scanning microscopy, shading and negative staining of macromolecules and cellular fractions, sample preparation for electron microscopy and observation of the same through Cryotransfer and immunocytochemistry.

Ultracentrifuges Optima LE-80k and XL-70 (Beckman Coulter): these are centrifuges optimized for spinning a rotor at very high speed and they are capable of generating acceleration as high as 2×106 g. They are used for separations of molecular components belonging to the photosynthetic apparatus or the respiratory machinery of mitochondria. Also they are used to separate the different cellular component thanks to their different sedimentation ability.