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Carotenoid production by Dunaliella salina under red light

Carotenoid production by Dunaliella salina under red light

Xu, Yanan ORCID: 0000-0002-1697-6070 and Harvey, Patricia J. ORCID: 0000-0001-7193-4570 (2019) Carotenoid production by Dunaliella salina under red light. Antioxidants, 8 (5):123. ISSN 2076-3921 (Online) (doi:

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The halotolerant photoautotrophic marine microalga Dunaliella salina is one of the richest sources of natural carotenoids. Here we investigated the effects of high intensity blue, red and white light from light emitting diodes (LED) on the production of carotenoids by strains of D. salina under nutrient sufficiency and strict temperature control favouring growth. Growth in high intensity red light was associated with carotenoid accumulation and a high rate of oxygen uptake. On transfer to blue light, a massive drop in carotenoid content was recorded along with very high rates of photo-oxidation. In high intensity blue light, growth was maintained at the same rate as in red or white light, but without carotenoid accumulation; transfer to red light stimulated a small increase in carotenoid content. The data support chlorophyll absorption of red light photons to reduce plastoquinone in photosystem II, coupled to phytoene desaturation by plastoquinol:oxygen oxidoreductase, with oxygen as electron acceptor. Partitioning of electrons between photosynthesis and carotenoid biosynthesis would depend on both red photon flux intensity and phytoene synthase upregulation by the red light photoreceptor, phytochrome. Red light control of carotenoid biosynthesis and accumulation reduces the rate of formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) as well as increases the pool size of anti-oxidant.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article belongs to the Special Issue 'Marine Algal Antioxidants'. © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dunaliella salina; microalgae; red LED; blue LED; growth; carotenoids; plastoquinol: oxygen oxidoreductase; photosynthesis
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > School of Science (SCI)
Last Modified: 25 May 2020 18:18

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