Main content area

Simultaneous production of triacylglycerol and high-value carotenoids by the astaxanthin-producing oleaginous green microalga Chlorella zofingiensis

Liu, Jin, Mao, Xuemei, Zhou, Wenguang, Guarnieri, Michael T.
Bioresource technology 2016 v.214 pp. 319-327
Chlorella, astaxanthin, biosynthesis, fatty acids, high-value products, microalgae, triacylglycerols
The production of lipids and astaxanthin, a high-value carotenoid, by Chlorella zofingiensis was investigated under different culture conditions. Comparative analysis revealed a good correlation between triacylglycerol (TAG) and astaxanthin accumulation in C. zofingiensis. Stress conditions promoted cell size and weight and induced the accumulation of neutral lipids, especially TAG and astaxanthin, with a concomitant decrease in membrane lipids. The highest contents of TAG and astaxanthin achieved were 387 and 4.89mgg−1 dry weight, respectively. A semi-continuous culture strategy was developed to optimize the TAG and astaxanthin productivities, which reached 297 and 3.3mgL−1day−1, respectively. Additionally, astaxanthin accumulation was enhanced by inhibiting de novo fatty acid biosynthesis. In summary, our study represents a pioneering work of utilizing Chlorella for the integrated production of lipids and high-value products and C. zofingiensis has great potential to be a promising production strain and serve as an emerging oleaginous model alga.