Comparison of heterotrophic and photoautotrophic induction on astaxanthin production by Haematococcus pluvialis

C. D. Kang, J. S. Lee, T. H. Park, Sang Jun Sim

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During light induction for astaxanthin formation in Haematococcus pluvialis, we substituted photoautotrophic induction for heterotrophic induction using acetate, both to prevent contamination by heterotrophs due to addition of organic carbon and to enhance carbon assimilation in the induced cells. Strong photoautotrophic induction was performed by N-deprivation of photoautotrophically grown Haematococcus cells followed by supplementation with bicarbonate (HCO3 -) or CO2. Bicarbonate-induced cells contained more astaxanthin than acetate-induced cells, and even further enhancement of astaxanthin accumulation was achieved by continuous CO2 supply. The maximum astaxanthin content (77.2 mg g-1 biomass, 3.4-fold higher than with heterotrophic induction) was obtained under conditions of 5% CO2, yielding astaxanthin concentration and productivity of 175.7 mg l-1 and 6.25 mg l -1 day-1, respectively. The results indicate that photoautotrophic induction is more effective than heterotrophic induction for astaxanthin synthesis in H. pluvialis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-241
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jul 1
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Microbiology
  • Bioengineering
  • Microbiology (medical)

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