Astaxanthin biosynthesis promotion with pH shock in the green microalga, Haematococcus lacustris

Sang Il Han, Sun Hyoung Chang, Changsu Lee, Min Seo Jeon, Young Mok Heo, Sok Kim, Yoon E. Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, the use of pH shock to improve astaxanthin synthesis in Haematococcus lacustris was investigated. It has been found that pH shock (pH = 4.5, 60 s) imposes stress in the cells and induces physiological changes, which result in astaxanthin accumulation. The optimal acid-base combination of pH shock was H2SO4-KOH, which increased the astaxanthin content per cell to 39 ± 6.92% than those of the control. In addition, pH shock can be applied simultaneously with the other inductive strategies such as high irradiance and carbon source supply. When high irradiance was applied simultaneously with pH shock, astaxanthin yield was increased 65 ± 0.541% than control. In addition, astaxanthin content per cell was increased 105 ± 6.66% than those of the control, with the concomitant application of carbon source addition with pH shock. Herein, these novel findings provide a useful technique for producing astaxanthin using H. lacustris.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123725
Pages (from-to)123725
JournalBioresource technology
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct 1

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Astaxanthin
  • Biological change
  • Haematococcus lacustris
  • Mass culture
  • pH shock

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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