The growth and lipid content of three Botryococcus braunii strains from China (CHN), United Kingdom (UK) and Japan (JAP) were compared at three temperatures (20, 25 and 30 ◦C), three irradiances (60, 100 and 300Wm−2) and four salinities (0, 0.15, 0.25, and 0.5 M NaCl) for 30 days, respectively. In the temperature trial, the UK strain
and JAP strain grew faster at 25 ◦C than at other temperatures, while the CHN strain performed equally well at 20 and 25 ◦C. The JAP strain grew slowest among the three strains at all temperatures, whereas the growth rate of the CHN and UK strains was similar at all temperatures except at 20 ◦C. The UK strain contained the highest lipid
content, but the CHN strain had the lowest lipid content at most temperatures. In the light trial, the highest growth rate was found in the UK strain and the lowest growth rate was observed in the JAP strain at most irradiances. The UK and JAP strains contained more lipids than the CHN strain at 60 and 100Wm−2, but the lipid content was not significantly different among the three strains at 300Wm−2. In the salinity trial, both the CHN and UK strains grew faster than the JAP strain at all salinities, but the growth rate between the CHN and UK strains was not different. However, the CHN strain had the lowest lipid content whereas the UK strain produced the highest lipids at most salinities. Our results indicate that the CHN strain and the UK strain grow faster than the JAP strain, but the UK and JAP strains produce more lipids than the CHN strain. The UK strain should be considered as a potential B. braunii strain for the exploitation of renewable energy.