Microalgal Carotenoids

A special issue of Marine Drugs (ISSN 1660-3397).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2022) | Viewed by 34915

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Metabolism, Bioengineering of Microalgal Molecules and Applications (MIMMA), Mer Molécules Santé, Le Mans University, 72085 Le Mans, France
Interests: hotosynthesis; carotenoids; plant physiology; secondary metabolites; chlorophyll; stress physiology; microalgae
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Metabolism, Bioengineering of Microalgal Molecules and Applications (MIMMA), Mer Molécules Santé, Le Mans University, 72085 Le Mans, France
Interests: microalgae; microalgal biotechnology; biopolymer; biomass
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Diatom Nanoengineering and Metabolism Laboratory (DNM), School of Applied Sciences, Dr. Harisingh Gour Central University, 470003 Sagar, MP, India
Interests: diatom

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Carotenoids are typical pigments of photosynthetic organisms. In vivo, they play crucial roles in photosynthesis, phototaxis, photoprotection and antioxidative responses. The carotenoid biosynthetic pathway is complex and involves several cell compartments. Due to the fact that carotenoids may conserve their properties in vitro, the interest for these natural molecules has increased in recent years. In order to satisfy the growing demand for carotenoids, new carotenoid sources are indeed searched. In this frame, the high potential of microalgae emerged. This intensive research results in the description of many carotenoids that can be used for taxonomic purposes. The accumulation of carotenoids, the so-called secondary carotenoids, in microalgae is often closely linked to a stressful environment. Huge progress in understanding the mechanisms controlling secondary carotenoid production by microalgae has been made. However, the application of this knowledge to transform microalgae into cell factories remains a medium to long-term project. The objective of this Special Issue is to advance closer to this horizon by bringing together current knowledge about the carotenoids of microalgae, including cyanobacteria.

Prof. Dr. Benoît Schoefs
Dr. Justine Marchand
Dr. Vandana Vinayak
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • biomass
  • biosynthetic pathways
  • biotechnology
  • carotenoid
  • carotenoid chemistry
  • enzyme
  • physiology
  • stress physiology
  • regulation network
  • taxonomy

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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15 pages, 2292 KiB  
Article
High-Purity Fucoxanthin Can Be Efficiently Prepared from Isochrysis zhangjiangensis by Ethanol-Based Green Method Coupled with Octadecylsilyl (ODS) Column Chromatography
by Gengjie Zhuang, Yuemei Ye, Junling Zhao, Chengxu Zhou, Junwang Zhu, Yanrong Li, Jinrong Zhang and Xiaojun Yan
Mar. Drugs 2022, 20(8), 510; https://doi.org/10.3390/md20080510 - 11 Aug 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2718
Abstract
The exploitation of new economically valuable microalgae as a sustainable source of minor high-value products can effectively promote the full utilization of microalgae. The efficient preparation of minor products from microalgae remains the challenge, owing to the coexistence of various components with a [...] Read more.
The exploitation of new economically valuable microalgae as a sustainable source of minor high-value products can effectively promote the full utilization of microalgae. The efficient preparation of minor products from microalgae remains the challenge, owing to the coexistence of various components with a similar polarity in the microalgae biomass. In this study, a novel approach based on the sustainable-oriented strategy for fucoxanthin (FX) production was proposed, which consisted of four steps, including the culture of microalga, ethanol extraction, ODS column chromatography, and ethanol precipitation. The high-purity FX (around 95%) was efficiently obtained in a total recovery efficiency of 84.28 ± 2.56%. This study reveals that I. zhangjiangensis is a potentially promising feedstock for FX production and firstly provides a potentially eco-friendly method for the scale-up preparation of FX from the microalga I. zhangjiangensis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microalgal Carotenoids)
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14 pages, 2225 KiB  
Article
Coelastrella terrestris for Adonixanthin Production: Physiological Characterization and Evaluation of Secondary Carotenoid Productivity
by Philipp Doppler, Ricarda Kriechbaum, Maria Käfer, Julian Kopp, Daniel Remias and Oliver Spadiut
Mar. Drugs 2022, 20(3), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/md20030175 - 26 Feb 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3012
Abstract
A novel strain of Coelastrella terrestris (Chlorophyta) was collected from red mucilage in a glacier foreland in Iceland. Its morphology showed characteristic single, ellipsoidal cells with apical wart-like wall thickenings. Physiological characterization revealed the presence of the rare keto-carotenoid adonixanthin, as well as [...] Read more.
A novel strain of Coelastrella terrestris (Chlorophyta) was collected from red mucilage in a glacier foreland in Iceland. Its morphology showed characteristic single, ellipsoidal cells with apical wart-like wall thickenings. Physiological characterization revealed the presence of the rare keto-carotenoid adonixanthin, as well as high levels of unsaturated fatty acids of up to 85%. Initial screening experiments with different carbon sources for accelerated mixotrophic biomass growth were done. Consequently, a scale up to 1.25 L stirred photobioreactor cultivations yielded a maximum of 1.96 mg·L−1 adonixanthin in free and esterified forms. It could be shown that supplementing acetate to the medium increased the volumetric productivity after entering the nitrogen limitation phase compared to autotrophic control cultures. This study describes a promising way of biotechnological adonixanthin production using Coelastrella terrestris. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microalgal Carotenoids)
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Review

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23 pages, 6419 KiB  
Review
Astaxanthin as a King of Ketocarotenoids: Structure, Synthesis, Accumulation, Bioavailability and Antioxidant Properties
by Anagha Nair, Ankesh Ahirwar, Shashikala Singh, Reeta Lodhi, Aishwarya Lodhi, Anshuman Rai, Dipak A Jadhav, Harish, Sunita Varjani, Gurpreet Singh, Justine Marchand, Benoît Schoefs and Vandana Vinayak
Mar. Drugs 2023, 21(3), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/md21030176 - 13 Mar 2023
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 4992
Abstract
Astaxanthin (3,3-dihydroxy-β, β-carotene-4,4-dione) is a ketocarotenoid synthesized by Haematococcus pluvialis/lacustris, Chromochloris zofingiensis, Chlorococcum, Bracteacoccus aggregatus, Coelastrella rubescence, Phaffia rhodozyma, some bacteria (Paracoccus carotinifaciens), yeasts, and lobsters, among others However, it is majorly synthesized by Haematococcus [...] Read more.
Astaxanthin (3,3-dihydroxy-β, β-carotene-4,4-dione) is a ketocarotenoid synthesized by Haematococcus pluvialis/lacustris, Chromochloris zofingiensis, Chlorococcum, Bracteacoccus aggregatus, Coelastrella rubescence, Phaffia rhodozyma, some bacteria (Paracoccus carotinifaciens), yeasts, and lobsters, among others However, it is majorly synthesized by Haematococcus lacustris alone (about 4%). The richness of natural astaxanthin over synthetic astaxanthin has drawn the attention of industrialists to cultivate and extract it via two stage cultivation process. However, the cultivation in photobioreactors is expensive, and converting it in soluble form so that it can be easily assimilated by our digestive system requires downstream processing techniques which are not cost-effective. This has made the cost of astaxanthin expensive, prompting pharmaceutical and nutraceutical companies to switch over to synthetic astaxanthin. This review discusses the chemical character of astaxanthin, more inexpensive cultivating techniques, and its bioavailability. Additionally, the antioxidant character of this microalgal product against many diseases is discussed, which can make this natural compound an excellent drug to minimize inflammation and its consequences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microalgal Carotenoids)
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31 pages, 2385 KiB  
Review
Diversity and Distribution of Carotenogenic Algae in Europe: A Review
by Konstantin Chekanov
Mar. Drugs 2023, 21(2), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/md21020108 - 1 Feb 2023
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 5712
Abstract
Microalgae are the richest source of natural carotenoids, which are valuable pigments with a high share of benefits. Often, carotenoid-producing algae inhabit specific biotopes with unfavorable or even extremal conditions. Such biotopes, including alpine snow fields and hypersaline ponds, are widely distributed in [...] Read more.
Microalgae are the richest source of natural carotenoids, which are valuable pigments with a high share of benefits. Often, carotenoid-producing algae inhabit specific biotopes with unfavorable or even extremal conditions. Such biotopes, including alpine snow fields and hypersaline ponds, are widely distributed in Europe. They can serve as a source of new strains for biotechnology. The number of algal species used for obtaining these compounds on an industrial scale is limited. The data on them are poor. Moreover, some of them have been reported in non-English local scientific articles and theses. This review aims to summarize existing data on microalgal species, which are known as potential carotenoid producers in biotechnology. These include Haematococcus and Dunaliella, both well-known to the scientific community, as well as less-elucidated representatives. Their distribution will be covered throughout Europe: from the Greek Mediterranean coast in the south to the snow valleys in Norway in the north, and from the ponds in Amieiro (Portugal) in the west to the saline lakes and mountains in Crimea (Ukraine) in the east. A wide spectrum of algal secondary carotenoids is reviewed: β-carotene, astaxanthin, canthaxanthin, echinenone, adonixanthin, and adonirubin. For convenience, the main concepts of biology of carotenoid-producing algae are briefly explained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microalgal Carotenoids)
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27 pages, 913 KiB  
Review
Microalgae-Derived Pigments for the Food Industry
by Han Sun, Yuxin Wang, Yongjin He, Bin Liu, Haijin Mou, Feng Chen and Shufang Yang
Mar. Drugs 2023, 21(2), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/md21020082 - 25 Jan 2023
Cited by 39 | Viewed by 6669
Abstract
In the food industry, manufacturers and customers have paid more attention to natural pigments instead of the synthetic counterparts for their excellent coloring ability and healthy properties. Microalgae are proven as one of the major photosynthesizers of naturally derived commercial pigments, gaining higher [...] Read more.
In the food industry, manufacturers and customers have paid more attention to natural pigments instead of the synthetic counterparts for their excellent coloring ability and healthy properties. Microalgae are proven as one of the major photosynthesizers of naturally derived commercial pigments, gaining higher value in the global food pigment market. Microalgae-derived pigments, especially chlorophylls, carotenoids and phycobiliproteins, have unique colors and molecular structures, respectively, and show different physiological activities and health effects in the human body. This review provides recent updates on characteristics, application fields, stability in production and extraction processes of chlorophylls, carotenoids and phycobiliproteins to standardize and analyze their commercial production from microalgae. Potential food commodities for the pigment as eco-friendly colorants, nutraceuticals, and antioxidants are summarized for the target products. Then, recent cultivation strategies, metabolic and genomic designs are presented for high pigment productivity. Technical bottlenecks of downstream processing are discussed for improved stability and bioaccessibility during production. The production strategies of microalgal pigments have been exploited to varying degrees, with some already being applied at scale while others remain at the laboratory level. Finally, some factors affecting their global market value and future prospects are proposed. The microalgae-derived pigments have great potential in the food industry due to their high nutritional value and competitive production cost. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microalgal Carotenoids)
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15 pages, 781 KiB  
Review
Carotenoids Biosynthesis, Accumulation, and Applications of a Model Microalga Euglenagracilis
by Rao Yao, Wen Fu, Ming Du, Zi-Xi Chen, An-Ping Lei and Jiang-Xin Wang
Mar. Drugs 2022, 20(8), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/md20080496 - 31 Jul 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3774
Abstract
The carotenoids, including lycopene, lutein, astaxanthin, and zeaxanthin belong to the isoprenoids, whose basic structure is made up of eight isoprene units, resulting in a C40 backbone, though some of them are only trace components in Euglena. They are essential to all [...] Read more.
The carotenoids, including lycopene, lutein, astaxanthin, and zeaxanthin belong to the isoprenoids, whose basic structure is made up of eight isoprene units, resulting in a C40 backbone, though some of them are only trace components in Euglena. They are essential to all photosynthetic organisms due to their superior photoprotective and antioxidant properties. Their dietary functions decrease the risk of breast, cervical, vaginal, and colorectal cancers and cardiovascular and eye diseases. Antioxidant functions of carotenoids are based on mechanisms such as quenching free radicals, mitigating damage from reactive oxidant species, and hindering lipid peroxidation. With the development of carotenoid studies, their distribution, functions, and composition have been identified in microalgae and higher plants. Although bleached or achlorophyllous mutants of Euglena were among the earliest carotenoid-related microalgae under investigation, current knowledge on the composition and biosynthesis of these compounds in Euglena is still elusive. This review aims to overview what is known about carotenoid metabolism in Euglena, focusing on the carotenoid distribution and structure, biosynthesis pathway, and accumulation in Euglena strains and mutants under environmental stresses and different culture conditions. Moreover, we also summarize the potential applications in therapy preventing carcinogenesis, cosmetic industries, food industries, and animal feed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microalgal Carotenoids)
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30 pages, 9175 KiB  
Review
Fucoxanthin from Algae to Human, an Extraordinary Bioresource: Insights and Advances in up and Downstream Processes
by Anne Pajot, Gia Hao Huynh, Laurent Picot, Luc Marchal and Elodie Nicolau
Mar. Drugs 2022, 20(4), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/md20040222 - 23 Mar 2022
Cited by 39 | Viewed by 6709
Abstract
Fucoxanthin is a brown-colored pigment from algae, with great potential as a bioactive molecule due to its numerous properties. This review aims to present current knowledge on this high added-value pigment. An accurate analysis of the biological function of fucoxanthin explains its wide [...] Read more.
Fucoxanthin is a brown-colored pigment from algae, with great potential as a bioactive molecule due to its numerous properties. This review aims to present current knowledge on this high added-value pigment. An accurate analysis of the biological function of fucoxanthin explains its wide photon absorption capacities in golden-brown algae. The specific chemical structure of this pigment also leads to many functional activities in human health. They are outlined in this work and are supported by the latest studies in the literature. The scientific and industrial interest in fucoxanthin is correlated with great improvements in the development of algae cultures and downstream processes. The best fucoxanthin producing algae and their associated culture parameters are described. The light intensity is a major influencing factor, as it has to enable both a high biomass growth and a high fucoxanthin content. This review also insists on the most eco-friendly and innovative extraction methods and their perspective within the next years. The use of bio-based solvents, aqueous two-phase systems and the centrifugal partition chromatography are the most promising processes. The analysis of the global market and multiple applications of fucoxanthin revealed that Asian companies are major actors in the market with macroalgae. In addition, fucoxanthin from microalgae are currently produced in Israel and France, and are mostly authorized in the USA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microalgal Carotenoids)
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