Accumulation of Secondary Carotenoids in Chlorella zofingiensis

Moshe Rise, Ephraim Cohen, Marina Vishkautsan, Miriam Cojocaru, Hugo E. Gottlieb, Shoshana (Malis) Arad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


We have previously found that in Chlorella emersonii, grown under synergistic conditions of high irradiance and low nitrogen, chlorophyll and primary carotenoids were degraded, whereas secondary carotenoids were produced. In this study Chlorella zofingiensis was cultivated under similar conditions. Maximal growth was achieved in a culture growing under light irradiance of 150 μmol quanta m-2 s-1 and a nitrogen concentration of 0.5 mg/mL of KNO3. Higher nitrogen concentrations or higher irradiance inhibited cell division. The secondary carotenoids produced were identified as canthaxanthin (about 30 %) and astaxanthin (about 70 %) in the form of mono- and diesters. Maximal accumulation occurred in cells starved of nitrogen and grown at a light irradiance of 300 μLmol m-2 s-1. Exposure of a thin layer of algal cells to sunlight resulted in de-esterification of the astaxanthin esters. It is suggested that secondary carotenoids have a photo-protective role, that is, under high light conditions they protect chlorophyll and other photosynthetic pigments against damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-292
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Plant Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1994


  • As-thin
  • Chlorella zofzngiensis
  • HPLC
  • SC
  • high performance liquid chromatography
  • secondary carotenoids
  • wnthaxanthin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Accumulation of Secondary Carotenoids in Chlorella zofingiensis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this