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Open AccessArticle

Neurosporaxanthin Overproduction by Fusarium fujikuroi and Evaluation of Its Antioxidant Properties

Department of Genetics, Faculty of Biology, University of Seville, 41012 Seville, Spain
Department of Food Biotechnology, Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (IATA-CSIC), 46980 Valencia, Spain
Interdisciplinary Program in Health Sciences, Institute of Physical Activity Sciences and Sports (ICAFE), Cruzeiro do Sul University, Rua Galvão Bueno 868, São Paulo SP 01506-000, Brazil
Food Technology Area, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Valencia, Burjassot, 46100 Valencia, Spain
Department of Food Phytochemistry, Instituto de la Grasa (IG-CSIC), 41013 Seville, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Antioxidants 2020, 9(6), 528;
Received: 21 May 2020 / Revised: 11 June 2020 / Accepted: 12 June 2020 / Published: 16 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carotenoids, Oxidative Stress and Disease)
Neurosporaxanthin (NX) is a carboxylic carotenoid produced by some filamentous fungi, including species of the genera Neurospora and Fusarium. NX biosynthetic genes and their regulation have been thoroughly investigated in Fusarium fujikuroi, an industrial fungus used for gibberellin production. In this species, carotenoid-overproducing mutants, affected in the regulatory gene carS, exhibit an upregulated expression of the NX pathway. Based on former data on a stimulatory effect of nitrogen starvation on carotenoid biosynthesis, we developed culture conditions with carS mutants allowing the production of deep-pigmented mycelia. With this method, we obtained samples with ca. 8 mg NX/g dry mass, in turn the highest concentration for this carotenoid described so far. NX-rich extracts obtained from these samples were used in parallel with carS-complemented NX-poor extracts obtained under the same conditions, to check the antioxidant properties of this carotenoid in in vitro assays. NX-rich extracts exhibited higher antioxidant capacity than NX-poor extracts, either when considering their quenching activity against [O2(1Δg)] in organic solvent (singlet oxygen absorption capacity (SOAC) assays) or their scavenging activity against different free radicals in aqueous solution and in liposomes. These results make NX a promising carotenoid as a possible feed or food additive, and encourage further studies on its chemical properties. View Full-Text
Keywords: carotenoids; xanthophylls; free radicals; oxidative stress; fungi; quenching; liposomes carotenoids; xanthophylls; free radicals; oxidative stress; fungi; quenching; liposomes
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MDPI and ACS Style

Parra-Rivero, O.; Paes de Barros, M.; Prado, M.M.; Gil, J.-V.; Hornero-Méndez, D.; Zacarías, L.; Rodrigo, M.J.; Limón, M.C.; Avalos, J. Neurosporaxanthin Overproduction by Fusarium fujikuroi and Evaluation of Its Antioxidant Properties. Antioxidants 2020, 9, 528.

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