Understanding metabolism in live microalgae is crucial for efficient biomaterial engineering, but conventional methods fail to evaluate heterogeneous populations of motile microalgae due to the labelling requirements and limited imaging speeds. Here, we demonstrate label-free video-rate metabolite imaging of live Euglena gracilis and statistical analysis of intracellular metabolite distributions under different culture conditions. Our approach provides further insights into understanding microalgal heterogeneity, optimizing culture methods and screening mutant microalgae.
This work was funded mainly by the ImPACT Program of the Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (Cabinet Office, Government of Japan) and partly by Advanced Photon Science Alliance and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) KAKENHI (grant no. 25702026). Y.S. and K.G. are supported by JSPS and partly by Burroughs Wellcome Fund, respectively.