Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 167, Issue 8, pp 2357–2368 | Cite as

Identification of Newly Zeaxanthin-Producing Bacteria Isolated from Sponges in the Gulf of Thailand and their Zeaxanthin Production

  • Patcharee Thawornwiriyanun
  • Somboon Tanasupawat
  • Chutiwan Dechsakulwatana
  • Somkiet Techkarnjanaruk
  • Worapot SuntornsukEmail author


Sponge-associated bacteria have been found to produce a variety of bioactive compounds including natural pigments. Here, we report the molecular identification of zeaxanthin-producing sponge-associated bacteria isolated from sponges in the Gulf of Thailand and the effect of environmental factors on zeaxanthin production from a bacterium. Three colorful sponge-associated bacteria (CHOB06-6, KODA19-6, and MAKB08-4) were identified based on the 16S rDNA profile. The 16S rDNA sequence-based analyses revealed that CHOB 06-6 and MAKB 08-4 were the closest relatives to Sphingomonas phyllosphaerae FA2T, and KODA19-6 was a relative of Shingomonas (Blastomonas) natatoria DSM 3183T. After all bacteria were cultivated in a modified Zobell medium, S. natatoria KODA19-6 was found to produce the highest zeaxanthin at 0.62 mg/l. pH and temperature considerably affected its zeaxanthin production. Its optimal condition for zeaxanthin production was found at a pH of 7 and 30 °C. The bacterium had a maximum specific growth rate (μ max) of 0.06 1/h with zeaxanthin productivity (Q p) of 6.27 μg/l·h. Therefore, this newly zeaxanthin-producing bacterium has a potential to produce natural zeaxanthin for the food, feed, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries.


Identification Zeaxanthin Sponge-associated bacteria Production Sphingomonas phyllosphaerae Sphingomonas natatoria 



We would like to acknowledge the Thailand Research Fund (TRF) for awarding a scholarship of Patcharee Thawornwiriyanun under the Royal Golden Jubilee Ph.D. Program (Grant No. PHD/0056/2548) and the Royal Thai Government for financial support through the research budgets of KMUTT and Burapha University. We are also grateful to Miss Nimaradee Boonapatcharoen from KMUTT, Bangkhuntien campus, for her guidance and generous help with genetic techniques. Finally, we thank Michael Willing for editing our manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patcharee Thawornwiriyanun
    • 1
  • Somboon Tanasupawat
    • 2
  • Chutiwan Dechsakulwatana
    • 3
  • Somkiet Techkarnjanaruk
    • 4
  • Worapot Suntornsuk
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, Faculty of ScienceKing Mongkut’s University of Technology ThonburiBangkokThailand
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand
  3. 3.Institute of Marine ScienceBurapha UniversityChonburiThailand
  4. 4.Biochemical Engineering and Pilot Plant Research and Development Unit, National Center for Genetics Engineering and BiotechnologyKing Mongkut’s University of Technology ThonburiBangkokThailand

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