Spent yeast as an efficient medium supplement for fucoxanthin and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) production by Phaeodactylum tricornutum

  • Xue Yuan
  • Limin Liang
  • Kui Liu
  • Lijuan Xie
  • Luqiang Huang
  • Wenjin He
  • Youqiang Chen
  • Ting XueEmail author


Fucoxanthin and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are high-value compounds that can be found in the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. Yet, the growth rate of this microalga is relatively low under photoautotrophic conditions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of using spent yeast, the second-major by-product of the brewing industry, as a useful substrate for P. tricornutum cultivation. Different pretreatments, concentrations of spent yeast, and initial cell densities of P. tricornutum were investigated. After 12 days of cultivation in f/2 medium, P. tricornutum supplemented with 1.33 g L−1 preautoclaved spent yeast yielded 3.28 times more fucoxanthin (5.97 mg L−1) and 3.55 times more EPA (16.82 mg L−1) than P. tricornutum grown without the yeast (fucoxanthin 1.82 mg L−1, EPA 4.64 mg L−1). Nutrient analysis showed that the nitrogen and phosphorus released by the spent yeast were consumed over time. Overall, spent yeast effectively promoted the fucoxanthin and EPA yields of P. tricornutum.


Spent yeast Phaeodactylum tricornutum Fucoxanthin EPA Nutrients analysis 


Funding information

This study was funded by the Natural Science Foundation of Fujian Province (Grant No. 2017J01622) and the Sugar Crop Research System (Grant No. CARS-170501).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xue Yuan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Limin Liang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kui Liu
    • 1
  • Lijuan Xie
    • 2
  • Luqiang Huang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wenjin He
    • 1
  • Youqiang Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ting Xue
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.The Public Service Platform for Industrialization Development Technology of Marine Biological Medicine and Product of State Oceanic Administration, College of Life SciencesFujian Normal UniversityFuzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Center of Engineering Technology Research for Microalgae Germplasm Improvement of Fujian, Southern Institute of OceanographyFujian Normal UniversityFuzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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