The present disclosure provides methods of enhancing the biofuel potential of an algal culture, the ability of an algal culture to provide a biofuel such as a lipid or to be processed to a biofuel, the method comprising: contacting an algal culture with a composition selected to enhance the biofuel potential of an algal culture; and allowing the algal culture to incubate to the point where the potential of the algal culture to provide a biofuel product or be processed to a biofuel product is enhanced compared to when the algal culture is not in contact with the composition. The selected algal species can be a species of a genus selected from the group consisting of: Gloeocystis, Limnothrix, Scenedesmus, Chlorococcum, Chlorella, Anabaena, Chlamydomonas, Botryococcus, Cricosphaera, Spirulina, Nannochloris, Dunaliella, Phaeodactylum, Pleurochrysis, Tetraselmis, or any combination thereof, one suitable species being Chlorella sorokiniana. In some embodiments, the composition selected to enhance the biofuel potential of an algal culture can be a pesticide such as, but not limited to, malathion (2-(dimethoxyphosphinothioylthio)butanedioic acid diethyl ester).
 This invention was made with Government support under Contract/Grant No. DE-FE36-08GO88144, awarded by the Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.