Extraction, purification and characterisation of Phycocyanin from Anabaena fertilissima PUPCCC 410.5: as a natural and food grade stable pigment
Diverse phycocyanin (PC) extraction and purification methods for cyanobacteria have been reported in literature. A particular method is not applicable to all cyanobacteria and the best method seems to be genus/species specific. Here, we report PC extraction and purification method for the filamentous cyanobacterium Anabaena fertilissima, a hyperproducer of phycobiliproteins. PC was also characterised in terms of unit assembly and stability. PC was extracted by freeze-thawing in distilled water, concentrated by ammonium sulphate fractionation and purified by size exclusion chromatography. The purification process resulted in 5.85-fold increase in PC purity reaching to 3.28. SDS-PAGE of purified PC demonstrated two bands of 19 and 21 kDa. Based on analysis of non-denaturing PAGE, the native PC from this organism is suggested to be a hexamer (αβ)6 of 240 kDa. Lyophilised PC in powder form was more stable compared to PC in the solution. Half-life of dry PC is 110 days when stored at 4 °C in dark. Storage of PC in light at elevated temperature decreased its half life. When added to milk products, PC was stable up to 9 days when stored at 4 °C. Aqueous solution of PC also exhibited significant free radical scavenging activity. The PC from this organism has potential applications in food as a natural pigment and conservative due to its antioxidant properties.
KeywordsAnabaena fertilissima Antioxidant Food grade Natural colour Phycocyanin Stability
The authors are thankful to Head of the Department of Botany, Punjabi University, Patiala and Coordinator, DSA-I of University Grants Commission, New Delhi and Coordinator, FIST of Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi for laboratory facilities.
Financial assistance was received from University Grants Commission, New Delhi in the form of research project No. 34-164/2008(SR) and fellowship to Sandeep Kaur under Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship.
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