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Diverse Biosynthetic Pathways and Protective Functions against Environmental Stress of Antioxidants in Microalgae

by 1,*, 1,2,3,4 and 1,5
1
Microalgae Production Control Technology Laboratory, RIKEN Baton Zone Program, Yokohama 230-0045, Japan
2
RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science, Yokohama 230-0045, Japan
3
Kihara Institute for Biological Research, Yokohama City University, Yokohama 230-0045, Japan
4
School of Information and Data Sciences, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki 852-8521, Japan
5
euglena Co., Ltd., Tokyo 108-0014, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Thomas Nägele
Plants 2021, 10(6), 1250; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10061250
Received: 26 May 2021 / Revised: 14 June 2021 / Accepted: 15 June 2021 / Published: 19 June 2021
Eukaryotic microalgae have been classified into several biological divisions and have evolutionarily acquired diverse morphologies, metabolisms, and life cycles. They are naturally exposed to environmental stresses that cause oxidative damage due to reactive oxygen species accumulation. To cope with environmental stresses, microalgae contain various antioxidants, including carotenoids, ascorbate (AsA), and glutathione (GSH). Carotenoids are hydrophobic pigments required for light harvesting, photoprotection, and phototaxis. AsA constitutes the AsA-GSH cycle together with GSH and is responsible for photooxidative stress defense. GSH contributes not only to ROS scavenging, but also to heavy metal detoxification and thiol-based redox regulation. The evolutionary diversity of microalgae influences the composition and biosynthetic pathways of these antioxidants. For example, α-carotene and its derivatives are specific to Chlorophyta, whereas diadinoxanthin and fucoxanthin are found in Heterokontophyta, Haptophyta, and Dinophyta. It has been suggested that AsA is biosynthesized via the plant pathway in Chlorophyta and Rhodophyta and via the Euglena pathway in Euglenophyta, Heterokontophyta, and Haptophyta. The GSH biosynthetic pathway is conserved in all biological kingdoms; however, Euglenophyta are able to synthesize an additional thiol antioxidant, trypanothione, using GSH as the substrate. In the present study, we reviewed and discussed the diversity of microalgal antioxidants, including recent findings. View Full-Text
Keywords: microalgae; diversity; antioxidant; carotenoid; ascorbate; glutathione; reactive oxygen species; environmental stress microalgae; diversity; antioxidant; carotenoid; ascorbate; glutathione; reactive oxygen species; environmental stress
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tamaki, S.; Mochida, K.; Suzuki, K. Diverse Biosynthetic Pathways and Protective Functions against Environmental Stress of Antioxidants in Microalgae. Plants 2021, 10, 1250. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10061250

AMA Style

Tamaki S, Mochida K, Suzuki K. Diverse Biosynthetic Pathways and Protective Functions against Environmental Stress of Antioxidants in Microalgae. Plants. 2021; 10(6):1250. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10061250

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tamaki, Shun, Keiichi Mochida, and Kengo Suzuki. 2021. "Diverse Biosynthetic Pathways and Protective Functions against Environmental Stress of Antioxidants in Microalgae" Plants 10, no. 6: 1250. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10061250

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