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The Production of High Purity Phycocyanin by Spirulina platensis Using Light-Emitting Diodes Based Two-Stage Cultivation


Phycocyanin is a photosynthetic pigment found in photosynthetic cyanobacteria, cryptophytes, and red algae. In general, production of phycocyanin depends mainly on the light conditions during the cultivation period, and purification of phycocyanin requires expensive and complex procedures. In this study, we propose a new two-stage cultivation method to maximize the quantitative content and purity of phycocyanin obtained from Spirulina platensis using red and blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs) under different light intensities. In the first stage, Spirulina was cultured under a combination of red and blue LEDs to obtain the fast growth rate until reaching an absorbance of 1.4–1.6 at 680 nm. Next, blue LEDs were used to enhance the concentration and purity of the phycocyanin in Spirulina. Two weeks of the two-stage cultivation of Spirulina yielded 1.28 mg mL−1 phycocyanin with the purity of 2.7 (OD620/OD280).

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This research was supported by the National Nuclear R&D Program (2012M2A8A4055325) through the National Research Foundation of Korea, funded by the Ministry of Science ICT and Future Planning.

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Correspondence to Seung-Yop Lee.

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Lee, SH., Lee, J.E., Kim, Y. et al. The Production of High Purity Phycocyanin by Spirulina platensis Using Light-Emitting Diodes Based Two-Stage Cultivation. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 178, 382–395 (2016).

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  • Spirulina platensis
  • Phycocyanin
  • Cultivation
  • Light-emitting diode (LED)
  • Wavelength
  • Light intensity