Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 175, Issue 1, pp 1–15 | Cite as

Microwave-Assisted Extraction of Phycobiliproteins from Porphyridium purpureum

  • Camille Juin
  • Jean-René Chérouvrier
  • Valérie Thiéry
  • Anne-Laure Gagez
  • Jean-Baptiste Bérard
  • Nicolas Joguet
  • Raymond Kaas
  • Jean-Paul Cadoret
  • Laurent PicotEmail author


In the present study, microwave-assisted extraction was first employed to extract the phycobiliproteins of Porphyridium purpureum (Pp). Freeze-dried Pp cells were subjected to microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) to extract phycoerythin (PE), phycocyanin (PC), and allophycocyanin (APC). MAE combined reproducibility and high extraction yields and allowed a 180- to 1,080-fold reduction of the extraction time compared to a conventional soaking process. The maximal PE extraction yield was obtained after 10-s MAE at 40 °C, and PE was thermally damaged at temperatures higher than 40 °C. In contrast, a flash irradiation for 10 s at 100 °C was the best process to efficiently extract PC and APC, as it combined a high temperature necessary to extract them from the thylakoid membrane to a short exposure to thermal denaturation. The extraction order of the three phycobiliproteins was coherent with the structure of Pp phycobilisomes. Moreover, the absorption and fluorescence properties of MAE extracted phycobiliproteins were stable for several months after the microwave treatment. Scanning electron microscopy indicated that MAE at 100 °C induced major changes in the Pp cell morphology, including fusion of the exopolysaccharidic cell walls and cytoplasmic membranes of adjacent cells. As a conclusion, MAE is a fast and high yield process efficient to extract and pre-purify phycobiliproteins, even from microalgae containing a thick exopolysaccharidic cell wall.


Allophycocyanin MAE Microalgae Microwave Phycobiliprotein Phycocyanin Phycoerythrin Porphyridium Thylakoid 



This research was financially supported by the French cancer league (Comité 17 de la Ligue Nationale contre le Cancer), European FEDER fund no. 34755-2011 (ALG post-doctoral fellowship), and CPER “Contrats de Projet Etat-Région: Poitou-Charentes” funds (project “Extraction of anticancer pigments from marine microalgae”). We are grateful to the Poitou-Charentes region for CJ’s PhD grant. We also thank the “Cancéropôle Grand Ouest, axe Valorisation des produits de la mer en cancérologie” and Dr. Hélène Montanié, Dr. Isabelle Lanneluc, and Dr. Matthieu Garnier for scientific assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Camille Juin
    • 1
  • Jean-René Chérouvrier
    • 1
  • Valérie Thiéry
    • 1
  • Anne-Laure Gagez
    • 1
  • Jean-Baptiste Bérard
    • 2
  • Nicolas Joguet
    • 1
  • Raymond Kaas
    • 2
  • Jean-Paul Cadoret
    • 2
  • Laurent Picot
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.UMRi CNRS 7266 LIENSs University of La RochelleLa RochelleFrance
  2. 2.IFREMER Laboratoire BRM/PBANantesFrance

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