News Release

Exogenous arginine promotes the coproduction of biomass and astaxanthin in Haematococcus pluvialis

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Hefei Institutes of Physical Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Exogenous Arginine Promotes the Coproduction of Biomass and Astaxanthin in Haematococcus Pluvialis


Experimental procedures and the mechanism of arginine in promoting astaxanthin, growth and lipid in Haematococcus pluvialis 

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Credit: Adolf Acheampong)

Recently, the group led by Prof. HUANG Qing from Hefei Institutes of Physical Science (HFIPS) of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), has made new advancements in the study of Haematococcus pluvialis (H. pluvialis) biomass and astaxanthin. They revealed that arginine supplements can enhance the growth and astaxanthin production of H. pluvialis.

These research findings were published in Biosource Technology.

Astaxanthin, a powerful ketocarotenoid, is predominantly known for its strong antioxidant property. It has been applied in food, pharmaceutical, medicinal, and cosmetic industries. H. pluvialis is one of the best natural sources of astaxanthin in nature. Improving astaxanthin production is the main concern of researchers across the world.

"We have been looking for an economic, faster and healthier way for astaxanthin production in H. pluvialis," said Prof. HUANG, "and this is what we found."

In this study, the researchers compared different additives that can promote the algal growth and astaxanthin accumulation in H. pluvialis, and found that arginine may be a best candidate in terms of efficiency and economic outcome.

In this research, scientists compared different substances that can help a type of algae called H. pluvialis grow and produce astaxanthin, a valuable compound. They discovered that arginine is one of the most effective and economical additives for this purpose. Through this study, they found that arginine works by activating specific pathways in the algae, controlling certain genes related to carotenoids and lipids, improving how the algae uses carbon, and increasing the expression of several genes involved in lipid and astaxanthin production. This combination of effects results in better algal growth, higher astaxanthin levels, and increased lipid production.

The results provide a significant mechanism and applicability of using exogenous arginine and high-light to stimulate bioproducts from H. pluvialis.

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