Fucoxanthin and docosahexaenoic acid production by cold-adapted Tisochrysis lutea

Fengzheng Gao*, Iago Teles Dominguez Cabanelas, René H. Wijffels, Maria J. Barbosa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Tisochrysis lutea is an important microalgal species for fucoxanthin and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) production with an optimum cultivation temperature of approximately 30 °C. The aim of the present work was to develop a winter strain with high productivity at 15 °C. The response of the original strain to a decrease in temperature from 30 °C to 15 °C was investigated in continuous turbidostat experiments. This was followed by adaptation for >180 days at 15 °C and 2 rounds of sorting for cells with high chlorophyll fluorescence (top 5%) using fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). For the original strain the productivity of biomass, fucoxanthin, and DHA decreased by 92 %, 98 % and 85 % respectively when decreasing the temperature from 30 °C to 15 °C. In the sorted cold-adapted ‘winter strain’, biomass, fucoxanthin, and DHA productivities were similar to those at 30 °C. In addition, the fucoxanthin concentration increased from 1.11 to 4.24 mg g−1 dry weight and the polar lipid fraction in total fatty acids increased from 21 % to 55 %. The winter strain showed a robust and stable phenotype after one year of cultivation, expanding the outdoor fucoxanthin and lipid production seasons for this species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-24
Number of pages9
JournalNew Biotechnology
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2022


  • Fatty acids
  • Fluorescence-activated cell sorting
  • Fucoxanthin
  • Tisochrysis lutea
  • Winter strain


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