Haematococcus pluvialis synthesizes a high yield of astaxanthin using CO2 in a photoautotrophic culture without contaminant heterotrophs; however, it takes too long to induce astaxanthin production. In this study, a highly photosensitive mutant strain was attained by conventional random mutagenesis and an efficient isolation method to shorten induction time. Sensitivity to photoinhibition in this mutant was raised by a partial lesion in the photosystem II (PSII) of photosynthesis, thereby prompting a change in cellular morphology as well as stimulating carotenogenesis (astaxanthin production). As a result, the concentrations of cell biomass and astaxanthin were dramatically increased by 27% and 62% under strong light and 79% and 153% under moderate light, respectively. This Haematococcus mutant would be useful for the economical astaxanthin production capable of reducing the light energy cost in a photoautotrophic culture system, even in areas with insufficient sunlight.
- Haematococcus pluvialis
- Photo-inducible mutant
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology