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Bioresour Technol. 2004 Apr;92(2):209-14.

Influence of environmental and nutritional factors in the production of astaxanthin from Haematococcus pluvialis.

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Departamento de Biotecnologi;a y Bioingenieri;a, CINVESTAV-IPN, P.O. Box 14-740, Avenida Instituto Politécnico Nacional 2508, Col. Zacatenco 07360, Mexico, D.F.


Astaxanthin extracted from green algae is desirable in the food and pharmaceutical industries due to its antioxidant properties. The green unicellular clear water microalga Haematococcus pluvialis has a high production rate of astaxanthin; indeed, it contains more than 80% astaxanthin content in its cells. This remarkable astaxanthin production is commonly obtained under stress conditions such as nutrient deficiency (N or P), high NaCl concentrations, variations of temperature, and other factors. In this vein, a great research effort has been oriented to determine optimal conditions for astaxanthin production by H. pluvialis. The objective of the present study was the analysis of environmental factors, such as light intensity, aeration and nutrients on the growth and astaxanthin production of H. pluvialis. Maximum growth of H. pluvialis obtained was 3.5x10(5) cells/ml in BBM medium at 28 degrees C under continuous illumination (177 micromol photon m(-2)s(-1)) of white fluorescent light, with continuous aeration (1.5 v.v.m.). Meanwhile, maximal astaxanthin production was 98 mg/g biomass in BAR medium with continuous illumination (345 micromol photon m(-2)s(-1)), with 1 g/l of sodium acetate and without aeration.

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