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Potential for the production of carotenoids of interest in the polar diatom Fragilariopsis cylindrus

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Carotenoid xanthophyll pigments are receiving growing interest in various industrial fields due to their broad and diverse bioactive and health beneficial properties. Fucoxanthin (Fx) and the inter-convertible couple diadinoxanthin–diatoxanthin (Ddx+Dtx) are acknowledged as some of the most promising xanthophylls; they are mainly synthesized by diatoms (Bacillariophyta). While temperate strains of diatoms have been widely investigated, recent years showed a growing interest in using polar strains, which are better adapted to the natural growth conditions of Nordic countries. The aim of the present study was to explore the potential of the polar diatom Fragilariopsis cylindrus in producing Fx and Ddx+Dtx by means of the manipulation of the growth light climate (daylength, light intensity and spectrum) and temperature. We further compared its best capacity to the strongest xanthophyll production levels reported for temperate counterparts grown under comparable conditions. In our hands, the best growing conditions for F. cylindrus were a semicontinuous growth at 7 °C and under a 12 h light:12 h dark photoperiod of monochromatic blue light (445 nm) at a PUR of 11.7 µmol photons m⁻² s⁻¹. This allowed the highest Fx productivity of 43.80 µg L⁻¹ day⁻¹ and the highest Fx yield of 7.53 µg Wh⁻¹, more than two times higher than under "white" light. For Ddx+Dtx, the highest productivity (4.55 µg L⁻¹ day⁻¹) was reached under the same conditions of "white light" and at 0 °C. Our results show that F. cylindrus, and potentially other polar diatom strains, are very well suited for Fx and Ddx+Dtx production under conditions of low temperature and light intensity, reaching similar productivity levels as model temperate counterparts such as Phaeodactylum tricornutum. The present work supports the possibility of using polar diatoms as an efficient cold and low light-adapted bioresource for xanthophyll pigments, especially usable in Nordic countries.

Marine Drugs
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Polar diatoms , Fucoxanthin , Diadinoxanthin , Diatoxanthin , Blue light , Photosynthesis
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article de recherche