Robust cyst germination induction in Haematococcus pluvialis to enhance astaxanthin productivity in a semi-continuous outdoor culture system using power plant flue gas

Seung Jun Cho, Young Joon Sung, Jeong Seop Lee, Byung Sun Yu, Sang Jun Sim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis biologically converts CO2 into natural astaxanthin that possesses a strong antioxidant activity; its low carbon footprint and economic viability have allowed it to garner great attention. However, low efficiency of the cultivation process is a major hurdle in its commercial production. Here, additional nitrogen was provided to fully grown cells to induce efficient cyst germination, thereby rapidly increasing the number of cells containing astaxanthin. After germination, these cells were rapidly converted from zooids to cysts by nitrogen depletion, while maintaining a steady astaxanthin content of 5.5%. Consequently, a 2.1-fold increase in astaxanthin productivity in comparison with that in a batch culture was achieved. Moreover, the germination-based semi-continuous process yielded 2.6 times higher astaxanthin productivity in a large-scale culture using power plant flue gas and a polymeric photobioreactor. This study provides a promising cultivation strategy for the commercial mass production of natural astaxanthin.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125533
JournalBioresource technology
Volume338
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct

Keywords

  • Astaxanthin
  • Cyst germination
  • Haematococcus pluvialis
  • Outdoor semi-continuous culture
  • Power plant flue gas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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