Productivity and selective accumulation of carotenoids of the novel extremophile microalga Chlamydomonas acidophila grown with different carbon sources in batch systems

M. Cuaresma, C. Casal, E. Forján, C. Vílchez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cultivation of extremophile microorganisms has attracted interest due to their ability to accumulate highvalue compounds. Chlamydomonas acidophila is an acidophile green microalga isolated by our group from Tinto River, an acidic river that flows down from the mining area in Huelva, Spain. This microalga accumulates high concentrations of lutein, a very well-known natural antioxidant. The aim of this study is to assess use of different carbon sources (CO2, glucose, glycerol, starch, urea, and glycine) for efficient growth of and carotenoid production by C. acidophila. Our results reveal that growth of the microalga on different carbon sources resulted in different algal biomass productivities, urea being as efficient as CO2 when used as sole carbon source (*20 g dry biomass m–2 day–1). Mixotrophic growth on glucose was also efficient in terms of biomass production (*14 g dry biomass m–2 day–1). In terms of carotenoid accumulation, mixotrophic growth on urea resulted in even higher productivity of carotenoids (mainly lutein, probably via a-carotene) than obtained with photoautotrophic cultures (70% versus 65% relative abundance of lutein, respectively). The accumulated lutein concentrations of C. acidophila reported in this work (about 10 g/kg dry weight, produced in batch systems) are among the highest reported for a microalga. Glycerol and glycine seem to enhance b-carotene biosynthesis, and when glycine is used as carbon source, zeaxanthin becomes the most accumulated carotenoid in the microalga. Strategies for production of lutein and zeaxanthin are suggested based on the obtained results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-177
JournalJournal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • spirulina-platensis
  • xanthophyll cycle
  • mixotrophic cultures
  • macular disease
  • nitrogen-source
  • tinto river
  • cultivation
  • stress
  • zeaxanthin
  • lutein

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