Author(s): Del Campo JA, Moreno J, Rodrguez H, Vargas MA, Rivas J,
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Abstract Fifteen strains of chlorophycean microalgae have been investigated with regard to their carotenoid profile. Lutein, beta-carotene and violaxanthin were present in virtually all of the strains, lutein, in general, being the most abundant carotenoid, whereas canthaxanthin and astaxanthin were found in some strains only. Chlorella fusca SAG 211-8b, Chlorococcum citriforme SAG 62.80, Muriellopsis sp., Neospongiococcum gelatinosum SAG B 64.80 and Chlorella zofingiensis CCAP 211/14 exhibited high lutein levels, the latter strain containing in addition substantial amounts of astaxanthin. Muriellopsis sp. was further characterized, since besides a high lutein content (up to 35 mg l(-1) culture), it had the highest growth rate (up to 0.17-0.23 h(-1)) and maximal standing cell density (up to 8 x 10(10) cells l(-1) culture). These levels of lutein are in the range of those reported for astaxanthin in Haematococcus and for beta-carotene in Dunaliella, microalgae of recognized interest for the production of these carotenoids. Lutein content of Muriellopsis sp. increased during the exponential phase of growth, with the highest value being recorded in the early stationary phase. Maximum levels of lutein in Muriellopsis sp. cultures were recorded at 20-40 mM NaNO3, 2-100 mM NaCl, 460 micromol photon m(-2) s(-1), pH 6.5 and 28 degrees C, conditions which were, in general, also optimal for cell growth. Growth-limiting conditions, such as pH values of 6 or 9 and a temperature of 33 degrees C, were found to stimulate carotenogenesis in Muriellopsis sp. This strain represents a potential source of lutein, a commercially interesting carotenoid of application in aquaculture and poultry farming, as well as in the prevention of cancer and diseases related to retinal degeneration.
This article was published in J Biotechnol
and referenced in Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences