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  1. Metabolic products such as lipids and proteins produced in cyanobacteria represent an excellent source of biomass and do not compete with agricultural land use unlike soybean and corn. Given their potential use as novel materials for biodiesel production, we aimed to explore the e ect of cultivation period and nitrogen concentration on the growth rate and lipid content of Fremyella diplosiphon, a model cyanobacterium. In this study, F. diplosiphon grown in BG11/HEPES medium supplemented with 1.5 g L􀀀1 sodium nitrate (NaNO3) for 7, 10, 15, and 20 days were compared to the untreated control in media amended with 0.25, 0.5, and 1.0 g L􀀀1 NaNO3. Cultures were inoculated in liquid media and grown under continuous fluorescent light in an orbital incubator shaker, and extracted lipids subjected to gravimetric analysis and gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy to determine the best culture conditions for lipid production. Our results demonstrated that a reduction in nitrogen concentration had no significant effect on the growth rate across all cultivation periods; however, the accumulation of total lipid content was significantly influenced by nitrogen concentration. A maximum lipid production (40%) with no reduction in growth was observed in 10-day old cultures in a BG11/HEPES medium supplemented with 1.0 gmore »L􀀀1 NaNO3. Fatty acid methyl ester composition of transesterified lipids demonstrated high amounts of methyl palmitate (50–70%) followed by methyl octadecenoate (17–30%) in the accumulated lipids at all treatments. Trace quantities of methyl dodecanoate, methyl hexadecanoate, methyl octadecanoate, and methyl octadecadienoate (1–8%) were also observed in all tested samples, indicating that nitrogen deprivation in culture media increases lipid production without affecting growth.« less