Australian Centre for Water
and Environmental Biotechnology

AWMC Seminar Program: Carotenoid Production by Mixed Purple Phototrophic Bacteria

Presented by Maria Grassino

Abstract: Carotenoids are a group of pigments that have been used for decades across different industries for applications including pharmaceuticals, animal feed, food and cosmetics. Although the vast majority of commercial carotenoids are currently produced by chemical synthesis, natural carotenoids have attracted considerable attention in recent years, due to environmental concerns and the numerous side effects linked to the use of synthetic pigments, including high toxicity and teratogenicity. The biotechnological production of carotenoids has become a promising alternative, since certain microorganisms are able to produce high yields of a wide range of carotenoids. In addition to their colouring properties, microbial carotenoids have shown potential in the nutraceutical industry due to their numerous health benefits and antioxidant properties. A potential source of carotenoids are purple phototrophic bacteria, which is a large group of anoxygenic phototrophs. These employ bacteriochlorophyll a and b, and a range of carotenoids, more than 50 identified, to harvest light for photoheterotrophic and photoautotrophic growth. Interestingly, these have been reported to effectively grow on a variety of wastewaters, including domestic and agri-industrial sources. Additionally, PPB biomass has potential to be used as feed supplement in aquaculture due to the high protein and fat contents in addition to favourable aminoacid profile. Carotenoids add another useful ingredient to the feed formulation. However, while some of the PPB carotenoids have been described in literature, the effective utilisation of PPB for carotenoid production has not been established. This project aims to evaluate the carotenoid production potential of PPB microorganisms through their characterisation and quantification using advanced LC-MS analytical tools. Furthermore, the effect of different process conditions will be studied both at a physiological and molecular level, to identify the major factors influencing carotenoid accumulation and the underlying metabolic pathways and regulatory mechanisms. 

AWMC hosts a free seminar every Friday from 9am.

Event Details
Date & Time: 
Friday, 12 April 2019
9am - 10am
Venue: AIBN Building 75, Level 1 Seminar Room

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