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Bioresour Technol. 2013 Sep;144:435-44. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2013.06.064. Epub 2013 Jun 26.

Phototrophic cultivation of a thermo-tolerant Desmodesmus sp. for lutein production: effects of nitrate concentration, light intensity and fed-batch operation.

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  • 1Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, PR China.


Four indigenous thermo-tolerant Desmodesmus sp. strains were examined for their ability to produce lutein. Among them, Desmodesmus sp. F51 was the best strain for this purpose. The medium composition, nitrate concentration and light intensity were manipulated to improve the phototrophic growth and lutein production of Desmodesmus sp. F51. It was found that a nitrogen-sufficient condition was required for lutein accumulation, while a high light intensity enhanced cell growth but caused a decrease in the lutein content. The best cell growth and lutein production occurred when the light intensity and initial nitrate concentration were 600 μmol/m(2)/s and 8.8 mM, respectively. The fed-batch cultivation strategy was shown to further improve lutein production. The highest lutein productivity (3.56±0.10 mg/L/d) and content (5.05±0.20 mg/g) were obtained when pulse-feeding of 2.2 mM nitrate was employed. This study demonstrated the potential of using Desmodesmus sp. F51 as a lutein producer in practical applications.


Desmodesmus sp.; Light intensity; Lutein; Microalgae; Nitrate

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