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Title

Efficiency assessment of the one-step production of astaxanthin by the microalga Haematococcus pluvialis

AuthorsDel Río, E. ; Acién, Francisco G.; García-Malea, María del Carmen; Rivas, Joaquín; Molina-Grima, Emilio; Guerrero, Miguel G.
KeywordsSpecific nitrate input
Nitrogen
Nitrate
Irradiance
Haematococcus
Continuous culture
Astaxanthin
Average irradiance
Carotenoid
Issue Date2008
PublisherWiley-VCH
CitationBiotechnology and Bioengineering 100: 397- 402 (2008)
AbstractContinuous cultivation of Haematococcus pluvialis under moderate nitrogen limitation represents a straightforward strategy, alternative to the classical two-stage approach, for astaxanthin production by this microalga. Performance of the one-step system has now been validated for more than 40 combinations of dilution rate, nitrate concentration in the feed medium, and incident irradiance, steady state conditions being achieved and maintained in all instances. Specific nitrate input and average irradiance were decisive parameters in determining astaxanthin content of the biomass, as well as productivity of the system. The growth rate of the continuous photoautotrophic cultures was a hyperbolic function of average irradiance. As long as specific nitrate input was above the threshold value of 2.7 mmol/gday, cells performed green and astaxanthin was present at basal levels only. Below the threshold value, under moderate nitrogen limitation conditions, astaxanthin accumulated to reach cellular levels of up to 1.1% of the dry biomass. Increasing irradiance resulted in enhancement of astaxanthin accumulation when nitrogen input was limiting, but never under nitrogen sufficiency. Mean daily productivity values of 20.8 ± 2.8 mg astaxanthin/L day (1.9 ± 0.3 g dry biomass/L day) were consistently achieved for a specific nitrate input of about 0.8 mmol/gday and an average irradiance range of 77-110 μE/m2 s. Models relating growth rate and astaxanthin accumulation with both average irradiance and specific nitrate input fitted accurately experimental data. Simulations provided support to the contention of achieving efficient production of the carotenoid through convenient adjustment of the determining parameters, and yielded productivity estimates for the one-step system higher than 60 mg astaxanthin/L day. The demonstrated capabilities of this production system, as well as its product quality, made it a real alternative to the current two-stage system for the production of astaxanthin-rich biomass. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/97959
DOI10.1002/bit.21770
Identifiersdoi: 10.1002/bit.21770
issn: 0006-3592
Appears in Collections:(IBVF) Artículos
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