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Biology 2018, 7(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology7010014

Potential of New Isolates of Dunaliella Salina for Natural β-Carotene Production

1
Department of Life Science, Faculty of Engineering and Science, University of Greenwich, Kent ME4 4TB, UK
2
Nature Beta Technologies (NBT) Ltd., Eilat 88106, Israel
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Department of Biochemistry and Purdue Center for Plant Biology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 23 January 2018 / Accepted: 29 January 2018 / Published: 1 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microalgal Biotechnology)
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Abstract

The halotolerant microalga Dunaliella salina has been widely studied for natural β-carotene production. This work shows biochemical characterization of three newly isolated Dunaliella salina strains, DF15, DF17, and DF40, compared with D. salina CCAP 19/30 and D. salina UTEX 2538 (also known as D. bardawil). Although all three new strains have been genetically characterized as Dunaliella salina strains, their ability to accumulate carotenoids and their capacity for photoprotection against high light stress are different. DF15 and UTEX 2538 reveal great potential for producing a large amount of β-carotene and maintained a high rate of photosynthesis under light of high intensity; however, DF17, DF40, and CCAP 19/30 showed increasing photoinhibition with increasing light intensity, and reduced contents of carotenoids, in particular β-carotene, suggesting that the capacity of photoprotection is dependent on the cellular content of carotenoids, in particular β-carotene. Strong positive correlations were found between the cellular content of all-trans β-carotene, 9-cis β-carotene, all-trans α-carotene and zeaxanthin but not lutein in the D. salina strains. Lutein was strongly correlated with respiration in photosynthetic cells and strongly related to photosynthesis, chlorophyll and respiration, suggesting an important and not hitherto identified role for lutein in coordinated control of the cellular functions of photosynthesis and respiration in response to changes in light conditions, which is broadly conserved in Dunaliella strains. Statistical analysis based on biochemical data revealed a different grouping strategy from the genetic classification of the strains. The significance of these data for strain selection for commercial carotenoid production is discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: Dunaliella salina; new isolates; characterization; light intensity; β-carotene; carotenoids; correlations; lutein; classification Dunaliella salina; new isolates; characterization; light intensity; β-carotene; carotenoids; correlations; lutein; classification
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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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Xu, Y.; Ibrahim, I.M.; Wosu, C.I.; Ben-Amotz, A.; Harvey, P.J. Potential of New Isolates of Dunaliella Salina for Natural β-Carotene Production. Biology 2018, 7, 14.

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