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Phytoene Accumulation in the Novel Microalga Chlorococcum sp. Using the Pigment Synthesis Inhibitor Fluridone

Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003, USA
AzCATI, School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, Arizona State University, Mesa, AZ 85212, USA
Core University Research Resources Laboratory, New Mexico State Univesrity, Las Cruces, NM 88003, USA
Department of Biology, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, Brooklyn, NY 11210, USA
The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(3), 187;
Received: 26 February 2019 / Revised: 19 March 2019 / Accepted: 19 March 2019 / Published: 22 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Collection Marine Carotenoids)
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Carotenoids are lipophilic pigments found in plants and algae, as well as some bacteria, archaea, and fungi that serve two functions—(1) as light harvesting molecules—primary carotenoids, and (2) as antioxidants, acting against reactive oxygen species–secondary carotenoids. Because of their strong antioxidant properties, they are also valuable for the development of anti-aging and photo-protective cosmetic applications. Of particular interest is the carotenoid phytoene, for its colorless and UV absorption characteristics. In this study, we targeted a reduction of phytoene desaturase (PDS) activity with the pigment-inhibiting herbicide 1-methyl-3-phenyl-5-[3-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]pyridin-4-one (fluridone), which leads to the over-accumulation of phytoene in the recently characterized microalgal strain Chlorococcum sp. (UTEX B 3056). After post-incubation with fluridone, phytoene levels were measured at ~33 ug/mg cell tissue, as opposed to non-detectable levels in control cultures. Hence, the novel microalga Chlorococcum sp. is a viable candidate for the production of the high-value carotenoid phytoene and subsequent applications in cosmeceuticals, as well as more obvious nutraceutical and pharmaceutical applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: phytoene; carotenoids; antioxidants; fluridone; microalgae; cosmeceuticals phytoene; carotenoids; antioxidants; fluridone; microalgae; cosmeceuticals

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Laje, K.; Seger, M.; Dungan, B.; Cooke, P.; Polle, J.; Holguin, F.O. Phytoene Accumulation in the Novel Microalga Chlorococcum sp. Using the Pigment Synthesis Inhibitor Fluridone. Mar. Drugs 2019, 17, 187.

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