Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 177–181 | Cite as

Protective role of astaxanthin against u.v.-B irradiation in the green alga Haematococcus pluvialis

  • Makio Kobayashi
  • Takashi Okada


Cyst cells of the green alga Haematococcus pluvialis accumulate astaxanthin with maturation of the resting stage. To study the protective role of astaxanthin against u.v. damage, both immature (astaxanthin-poor) and mature (astaxanthin-rich) cyst cells were exposed to u.v.-A or u.v.-B irradiation, and the residual cell viability and astaxanthin levels were determined. u.v.-B decreased both cell viability and astaxanthin level of cyst cells to a greater extent than u.v.-A. Tolerance of mature cyst cells to u.v.-B was 6-fold higher than that of immature cyst cells. These results indicated that astaxanthin in cyst cells functions as a protective agent against u.v.-B irradiation.

antioxidant astaxanthin Haematococcus pluvialis oxidative stress u.v.-B 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Makio Kobayashi
    • 1
    • 1
    • 1
  • Takashi Okada
    • 1
    • 1
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Laboratory of Higashimaru Shoyu Co., Ltd.HyogoJapan

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