Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 363–369 | Cite as

Potential use of the astaxanthin-producing microalga, Monoraphidium sp. GK12, as a functional aquafeed for prawns

  • Katsuhiko Fujii
  • Hisatoshi Nakashima
  • Yumiko Hashidzume
  • Terumasa Uchiyama
  • Kenzo Mishiro
  • Youji Kadota


We determined the nutritional profile of Monoraphidium sp. GK12, a newly isolated astaxanthin (AXA)-producing microalga, and investigated its potential use as a functional aquafeed by evaluating its effect on prawn pigmentation. GK12 contained high levels of pantothenic acid. The β-carotene content of GK12 was higher than that of Haematococcus, a well-studied AXA producer, and was similar to that of Spirulina. GK12 also had a high content of unsaturated fatty acids, of which linolenic acid (C18:3 n−3) was the most plentiful. A GK12-containing feed resulted in significant pigmentation of the prawns, comparable to that of prawns fed on synthetic AXA or Haematococcus. A GK12-containing feed also increased the survival rate of the prawns. Therefore, in addition to improving cultivation methods for Haematococcus, further research is needed into the use of GK12 as an alternative AXA source and as an ingredient of functional aquafeed for farmed fish.


Astaxanthin Vitamin Unsaturated fatty acid Microalgae Monoraphidium Functional aquafeed 



This study was funded by an Industry Technology Research Grant Program in 2007 from the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan.


  1. Aaronson S, Dhawale SW, Patni NJ, Deangelis B, Frank O, Baker H (1977) The cell content and secretion of water-soluble vitamins by several freshwater algae. Arch Microbiol 112:57–59CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Annapurna VV, Deosthale YG, Bamji MS (1991) Spirulina as a source of vitamin A. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 41:125–134CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Becker EW (1994) Chemical composition. In: Becker EW (ed) Microalgae: Biotechnology and Microbiology. Cambridge University Press, NY, pp 189–191Google Scholar
  4. Bligh EJ, Dyer WJ (1959) A rapid method of total lipid extraction and purification. Can J Biochem Physiol 37:911–917PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Boonyaratpalin M, Thongrod S, Supamattaya K (2001) Effects of β-carotene source, Dunaliella salina, and astaxanthin on pigmentation, growth, survival and health of Penaeus monodon. Aquacult Res 32:182–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Burton GW, Ingold KU (1984) β-carotene: an unusual type of lipid antioxidant. Science 224:569–573CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Chien YH, Jeng SC (1992) Pigmentation of kuruma prawn, Penaeus japonicus Bate, by various pigment sources and levels and feeding regimes. Aquaculture 102:333–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Clark RM, Yao L, She L, Furr HC (2000) A comparison of lycopene and astaxanthin absorption from corn oil and olive oil emulsions. Lipids 35:803–806CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Claus C, Benijts F, Vandeputte G, Gardner W (1979) The biochemical composition of the larvae of two strains of Artemia salina (L.) reared on two different algal foods. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 36:171–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dominguez-Bocanegra AR, Legarreta IG, Jeronimo FM, Campocosio AT (2004) Influence of environmental and nutritional factors in the production of astaxanthin from Haematococcus pluvialis. Bioresource Technol 92:209–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Donnelly JG (2001) Folic acid. Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci 38:183–223CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Fabregas J, Herrero C (1990) Vitamin content of four microalgae. Potential use as source of vitamins in nutrition. J Ind Microbiol 5:259–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fujii K, Imazato E, Nakashima H, Ooi S, Akihiko H (2006) Isolation of the non-fastidious microalgae with astaxanthin-accumulating property and its potential for application to aquaculture. Aquaculture 261:285–293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fujii K, Nakashima H, Anno Y (2008) Potential of Monoraphidium sp. GK12 for energy-saving astaxanthin production. J Chem Technol Biotechnol 83:1578–1584CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Glencross BD, Smith DM (1999) The dietary linoleic and linolenic fatty acids requirements of the prawn Penaeus monodon. Aquac Nutr 5:53–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Goodwin TW, Jamikorn M (1954) Studies in carotenogenesis. Biochem J 57:376–381PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Guerin M, Huntley ME, Olaizola M (2003) Haematococcus astaxanthin: application for human health and nutrition. Trends Biotechnol 21:210–216CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Huskisson E, Maggini S, Ruf M (2007) The role of vitamins and minerals in energy metabolism and well-being. J Int Med Res 35:277–289PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Kay RA (1991) Microalgae as food and supplement. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 30:555–573CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Kobayashi M, Kakizono T, Nagai S (1991) Astaxanthin production by a green alga, Haematococcus pluvialis accompanied with morphological changes in acetate media. J Ferment Bioeng 71:335–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Levin C, Maibach H (2002) Exploration of “alternative” and “natural” drugs in dermatology. Arch Dermatol 138:207–211CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Li P, Mai K, Trushenski J, Wu G (2009) New developments in fish amino acid nutrition: towards functional and environmentally oriented aquafeeds. Amino Acids 37:43–53CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Lorenz RT (1999) A technical review of Haematococcus algae. Naturose Technical Bulletin 060.Google Scholar
  24. Merican ZO, Shim KF (1996) Qualitative requirements of essential fatty acids for juvenile Penaeus monodon. Aquaculture 147:275–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Merican ZO, Shim KF (1997) Quantitative requirements of linolenic and docosahexaenoic acid for juvenile Penaeus monodon. Aquaculture 157:277–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Morris DL (1948) Quantitative determination of carbohydrates with Dreywoods anthrone reagent. Science 107:254–255CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Nakamura MT, Cho HP, Xu J, Tang Z, Clarke SD (2001) Metabolism and functions of highly unsaturated fatty acids: an update. Lipids 36:961–964CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Reddy HRV, Ganapathi Naik M, Annappaswamy TS (1999) Evaluation of the dietary essentiality of vitamins for Penaeus mondon. Aquac Nutr 5:267–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Shiau SY, Chin YH (1998) Dietary biotin requirement for maximum growth of juvenile grass shrimp. Penaeus monodon. J Nutr 128:2494–2497PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Shiau SY, Hsu CW (1999) Dietary pantothenic acid requirement of juvenile grass shrimp. Penaeus monodon. J Nutr 129:718–721PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Shiau SY, Huang SY (2001) Dietary folic acid requirement determined for grass shrimp, Penaeus monodon. Aquaculture 200:339–347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Smith PK, Krohn RI, Hermanson GT, Mallia AK, Gartner FH, Provenzano MD, Fujimoto EK, Goeke NM, Olson BJ, Klenk DC (1985) Measurement of protein using bicinchoninic acid. Anal Biochem 150:76–85CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. The association of vitamin chemists (1966) In: Methods of vitamin assay. Wiley, London.Google Scholar
  34. Thomasa WH, Seiberta DLR, Aldena M, Neoria A, Eldridge P (1984) Yields, photosynthetic efficiencies and proximate composition of dense marine microalgal cultures. III. Isochrysis sp. and Monallantus salina experiments and comparative conclusions. Biomass 5:299–316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Wikfors GH, Ohno M (2001) Impact of algal research in aquaculture. J Phycol 37:968–974CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katsuhiko Fujii
    • 1
  • Hisatoshi Nakashima
    • 1
  • Yumiko Hashidzume
    • 1
  • Terumasa Uchiyama
    • 2
  • Kenzo Mishiro
    • 2
  • Youji Kadota
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AgricultureYamaguchi UniversityYamaguchiJapan
  2. 2.Hayashikane Sangyo Co., LtdHigashiyamato-machiShimonosekiJapan

Personalised recommendations