The biosynthetic pathway of astaxanthin in a green alga Haematococcus pluvialis as indicated by inhibition with diphenylamine

Lu Fan, Avigad Vonshak, Rachel Gabbay, Joseph Hirshberg, Zvi Cohen, Sammy Boussiba

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The effect of diphenylamine on astaxanthin biosynthesis in Haematococcus pluvialis was studied. Cultures induced to produce astaxanthin accumulated rβ-carotene in the presence of the inhibitor. It was found that 30 μM diphenylamine specifically inhibits the biosynthesis of astaxanthin at the step of conversion of rβ-carotene to echinenone and canthaxanthin. The results imply that these two compounds are genuine intermediates in the pathway of astaxanthin biosynthesis in H. pluvialis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1519-1524
Number of pages6
JournalPlant and Cell Physiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1995


  • Astaxanthin
  • Diphenylamine
  • Haematococcus pluvialis
  • Ketocarotenoid-biosynthesis


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