Enhancement of astaxanthin production using Haematococcus pluvialis with novel LED wavelength shift strategy

Tianqi Xi, Dae Geun Kim, Seong Woon Roh, Jong Soon Choi, Yoon E. Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


Haematococcus pluvialis is a green microalga of particular interest, since it is considered the best potential natural source of astaxanthin, which is widely used as an additive for natural pigmentation. In addition, astaxanthin has recently garnered commercial interest as a nutraceutical, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical. However, producing astaxanthin from H. pluvialis necessitates separation with distinctive culture conditions, dividing between the microalgae growth and the astaxanthin production stages. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have emerged as a replacement for traditional light sources, and LED applications are now rapidly expanding to multiple areas in fields such as biotechnology. However, further detail application into microalgae biotechnology remains limited. In this study, we have attempted to establish new protocols based on the specific wavelength of LEDs for the cultivation and production of astaxanthin using H. pluvialis. Specifically, we applied red LEDs for microalgae cell growth and then switched to blue LEDs to induce astaxanthin biosynthesis. The result showed that astaxanthin productions based on a wavelength shift from red to blue were significantly increased, compared to those with continuous illumination using red LEDs. Furthermore, additional increase of astaxanthin production was achieved with simultaneous application of exogenous carbon with blue LED illumination. Our approach based on the proper manipulation of LED wavelengths upon H. pluvialis cell stages will enable the improvement of biomass and enhance astaxanthin production using H. pluvialis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6231-6238
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 1


  • Astaxanthin
  • Carbon source
  • Haematococcus pluvialis
  • LED
  • Wavelength shift

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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