Induced carotenoid accumulation in Dunaliella salina and Tetraselmis suecica by plant hormones and UV-C radiation

Abstract

Carotenoids prevent different degenerative diseases and improve human health. Microalgae are commercially exploited for carotenoids, including astaxanthin and β-carotene. Two commercially important microalgae, Dunaliella salina and Tetraselmis suecica, were treated with plant hormones salicylic acid (SA) and methyl jasmonate (MJ), or by UV-C radiation (T. suecica only) and a combination thereof. Significant increases in total carotenoids were found for D. salina and T. suecica after treatment with MJ (10 μmol/L) and SA (70–250 μmol/L), respectively. T. suecica also had significant increases in total carotenoids following UV-C radiation compared to control cultures. Among the carotenoids, lutein was the highest induced carotenoid. A combination of these two treatments also showed a significant increase in total carotenoids and lutein for T. suecica, when compared to controls. Plant hormones and UV-C radiation may be useful tools for increasing carotenoid accumulation in green microalgae although the responses are species- and dose-specific and should be trialed in medium to large scale to explore commercial production.

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Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank the Australian Research Council and Meat & Livestock Australia for financial support and Dr. Kalpesh Sharma for useful advice on UV-C treatments.

Funding

This study was funded by Meat and Livestock Australia (B.NBP.0695), the Australian Research Council (LP0990558), and an Australian Postgraduate Award (to FA).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Peer M. Schenk.

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Ahmed, F., Fanning, K., Netzel, M. et al. Induced carotenoid accumulation in Dunaliella salina and Tetraselmis suecica by plant hormones and UV-C radiation. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 99, 9407–9416 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-015-6792-x

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Keywords

  • Carotenoids
  • Methyl jasmonate
  • Microalgae
  • Salicylic acid
  • UV-C radiation