Exploring and exploiting carotenoid accumulation in Dunaliella salina for cell-factory applications

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The unicellular alga Dunaliella salina is the most interesting cell factory for the commercial production of ß-carotene because this species accumulates carotenoids to high concentrations. Nevertheless, little is known about the underlying mechanisms of carotenoid accumulation. Here, we review the regulatory mechanisms involved in ß-carotene overproduction in D. salina. The potential roles of reactive oxygen species and the plastoquinone redox state in signal sensing are discussed, together with available evidence on transcriptional and (post)translational regulation. Moreover, future directions that might further our knowledge in this area are given. Ultimately, a better understanding of the regulatory mechanisms involved in ß-carotene overproduction will facilitate innovative production of specific carotenoids and other products in D. salina and in related organisms
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-638
JournalTrends in Biotechnology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2008



  • beta-carotene
  • green-alga
  • halotolerant alga
  • haematococcus-pluvialis
  • bardawil chlorophyceae
  • outdoor cultivation
  • gene-transcription
  • mass-spectrometry
  • redox regulation
  • light-intensity

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