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Carotenoids from Haloarchaea and Their Potential in Biotechnology

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Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Division, Agrochemistry and Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Sciences, University of Alicante, Ap. 99, E-03080 Alicante, Spain
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Algal Biotechnology Group, University of Huelva and Marine International Campus of Excellence (CEIMAR), CIDERTA and Faculty of Sciences, 21071 Huelva, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Peer B. Jacobson
Mar. Drugs 2015, 13(9), 5508-5532; https://doi.org/10.3390/md13095508
Received: 29 June 2015 / Revised: 2 August 2015 / Accepted: 10 August 2015 / Published: 25 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Carotenoids and Oxidative Stress)
The production of pigments by halophilic archaea has been analysed during the last half a century. The main reasons that sustains this research are: (i) many haloarchaeal species possess high carotenoids production availability; (ii) downstream processes related to carotenoid isolation from haloarchaea is relatively quick, easy and cheap; (iii) carotenoids production by haloarchaea can be improved by genetic modification or even by modifying several cultivation aspects such as nutrition, growth pH, temperature, etc.; (iv) carotenoids are needed to support plant and animal life and human well-being; and (v) carotenoids are compounds highly demanded by pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food markets. Several studies about carotenoid production by haloarchaea have been reported so far, most of them focused on pigments isolation or carotenoids production under different culture conditions. However, the understanding of carotenoid metabolism, regulation, and roles of carotenoid derivatives in this group of extreme microorganisms remains mostly unrevealed. The uses of those haloarchaeal pigments have also been poorly explored. This work summarises what has been described so far about carotenoids production by haloarchaea and their potential uses in biotechnology and biomedicine. In particular, new scientific evidence of improved carotenoid production by one of the better known haloarchaeon (Haloferax mediterranei) is also discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: isoprenoid; carotenoids; bacterioruberin; haloarchaea; red and orange pigments isoprenoid; carotenoids; bacterioruberin; haloarchaea; red and orange pigments
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Rodrigo-Baños, M.; Garbayo, I.; Vílchez, C.; Bonete, M.J.; Martínez-Espinosa, R.M. Carotenoids from Haloarchaea and Their Potential in Biotechnology. Mar. Drugs 2015, 13, 5508-5532.

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