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Open Access Secondary carotenoid accumulation in flagellates of the green alga Haematococcus lacustris

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The combination of nitrogen deprivation and increased cultivation light intensity resulted in the synthesis of secondary carotenoids in flagellates of Haematococcus lacustris. The pigment pattern was characterized by high-pressure liquid chromatography analysis during the accumulation period and in response to inhibitors of carotenoid biosynthesis (diphenylamine, norflurazon and tetcyclacis). Diphenylamine treatment resulted in (i) a decrease in ketocarotenoids and (ii) an accumulation of b-carotene and zeaxanthin due to inhibition of the bcarotene oxygenase. Our results indicate that astaxanthin synthesis in H. lacustris follows the biosynthetic pathway elucidated in the marine bacterium Agrobacterium aurantiacum.

Keywords: Haematococcus lacustris; astaxanthin; carotenoids; inhibitors of carotenoid biosynthesis; ketocarotenoids; zeaxanthin

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute of General Botany, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Am Planetarium 1, D-07743 Jena, Germany

Publication date: November 26, 1997


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