The unicellular green microalga Haematococcus pluvialis has the highest content of the natural antioxidant, astaxanthin. Previously, it was determined that astaxanthin accumulation in H. pluvialis could be induced by blue-wavelength irradiation; however, the molecular mechanism remains unknown. The present study aimed to compare the transcriptome of H. pluvialis, with respect to astaxanthin biosynthesis, under the monochromatic red (660 nm) or blue (450 nm) light-emitting diode (LED) irradiation. Among a total of 165,372 transcripts, we identified 67,703 unigenes, of which 2245 and 171 were identified as differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in response to blue and red irradiation, respectively. Interestingly, expressional changes of blue light receptor cryptochromes were detected in response to blue and/or red LED irradiation in H. pluvialis, which may directly and indirectly regulate astaxanthin biosynthesis. In accordance with this observation, expression of the BKT and CHY genes, which are part of the downstream section of the astaxanthin biosynthetic pathway, was significantly upregulated by blue LED irradiation compared with their expression under control white irradiation. Contrastingly, they were downregulated by red LED irradiation. Our transcriptome study provided molecular insights that highlighted the different of responses of H. pluvialis to red and blue irradiation, especially for astaxanthin biosynthesis.
- Carotenoid biosynthesis
- Differentially expressed genes
- Gene expression
- LED wavelength
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology