Astaxanthin is a ketocarotenoid produced by photosynthetic microalgae. It is a pigment of high industrial interest in acquaculture, cosmetics, and nutraceutics due to its strong antioxidant power. Haematococcus pluvialis, a fresh-water microalga, accumulates high levels of astaxanthin upon oxidative stress, reaching values up to 5% per dry weight. H. pluvialis accumulates astaxanthin in oil droplets in the cytoplasm, while the chloroplast volume is reduced. In this work, we investigate the biochemical and spectroscopic properties of the H. pluvialis pigment binding complexes responsible for light harvesting and energy conversion. Our findings demonstrate that the main features of chlorophyll and carotenoid binding complexes previously reported for higher plants or Chlamydomonas reinhardtii are preserved under control conditions. Transition to astaxanthin rich cysts however leads to destabilization of the Photosystems. Surprisingly, astaxanthin was found to be bound to both Photosystem I and II, partially substituting β-carotene, and thus demonstrating possible astaxanthin biosynthesis in the plastids or transport from the cytoplasm to the chloroplast. Astaxanthin binding to Photosystems does not however improve their photoprotection, but rather reduces the efficiency of excitation energy transfer to the reaction centers. We thus propose that astaxanthin binding partially destabilizes Photosystem I and II.

Functional analysis of photosynthetic pigment binding complexes in the green alga Haematococcus pluvialis reveals distribution of astaxanthin in Photosystems

Bargigia, Ilaria;Cerullo, Giulio;D'Andrea, Cosimo;
2017-01-01

Abstract

Astaxanthin is a ketocarotenoid produced by photosynthetic microalgae. It is a pigment of high industrial interest in acquaculture, cosmetics, and nutraceutics due to its strong antioxidant power. Haematococcus pluvialis, a fresh-water microalga, accumulates high levels of astaxanthin upon oxidative stress, reaching values up to 5% per dry weight. H. pluvialis accumulates astaxanthin in oil droplets in the cytoplasm, while the chloroplast volume is reduced. In this work, we investigate the biochemical and spectroscopic properties of the H. pluvialis pigment binding complexes responsible for light harvesting and energy conversion. Our findings demonstrate that the main features of chlorophyll and carotenoid binding complexes previously reported for higher plants or Chlamydomonas reinhardtii are preserved under control conditions. Transition to astaxanthin rich cysts however leads to destabilization of the Photosystems. Surprisingly, astaxanthin was found to be bound to both Photosystem I and II, partially substituting β-carotene, and thus demonstrating possible astaxanthin biosynthesis in the plastids or transport from the cytoplasm to the chloroplast. Astaxanthin binding to Photosystems does not however improve their photoprotection, but rather reduces the efficiency of excitation energy transfer to the reaction centers. We thus propose that astaxanthin binding partially destabilizes Photosystem I and II.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1044676
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