There are numerous commercial applications of microalgae nowadays owing to their vast biotechnological and economical potential. Indisputably, astaxanthin is one of the high value product synthesized by microalgae and is achieving commercial success. Astaxanthin is a keto-carotenoid pigment found in many aquatic animals including microalgae. Astaxanthin cannot be synthesized by animals and provided in the diet is compulsory. In this study, the production of astaxanthin by the freshwater microalgae Chlorella sorokiniana and marine microalgae Tetraselmis sp. were studied. The relationship between growth and astaxanthin production by marine and freshwater microalgae cultivated under various carbon sources and concentrations, environmental conditions and nitrate concentrations was investigated in this study. Inorganic carbon source and low nitrate concentration favored the growth and production of astaxanthin by the marine microalgae Tetraselmis sp. and the freshwater microalgae Chlorella sorokiniana. Outdoor cultivation enhanced the growth of microalgae, while indoor cultivation promoted the formation of astaxanthin. The results indicated that supplementation of light, inorganic carbon and nitrate could be effectively manipulated to enhance the production of astaxanthin by both microalgae studied.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.