© 2016 Elsevier Ltd The buoyancy suppression by low energy sonication (LES) treatment (0.8 W·mL−1, 20 kHz, 10 s) has recently been proposed as an initial harvesting step for Arthrospira sp. This paper aims to describe the structural changes in Arthrospira sp. after LES treatment and to present how these structural changes affect the results obtained by different analytical techniques. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) micrographs of trichomes evidenced the gas vesicles rupture but also revealed a rearrangement of thylakoids and more visible phycobilisomes were observed. Differences between treated and untreated samples were detected by confocal microscopy, flow cytometry and optical microscopy but not by electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). After LES treatment, 2-fold increase in autofluorescence at 610/660 nm was measured (phycocyanin/allophycocyanin emission wavelengths) and a ten-fold decrease in side scatter light intensity (due to a reduction of trichome's inner complexity). This was further confirmed by optical microscopy showing changes on trichomes appearance (from wrinkled to smooth).
- Arthrospira sp.
- Gas vesicles rupture
- Low energy sonication treatment
- Microalgae harvesting monitoring
- Morphological/structural changes