Killing effect of deinoxanthins on cyanobloom-forming Microcystis aeruginosa: Eco-friendly production and specific activity of deinoxanthins

Wonjae Kim, Minkyung Kim, Minyoung Hong, Woojun Park

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Cyanobacterial blooms caused mainly by Microcystis aeruginosa could be controlled using chemical and biological agents such as H2O2, antagonistic bacteria, and enzymes. Little is known about the possible toxic effects of bacterial membrane pigments on M. aeruginosa cells. Deinococcus metallilatus MA1002 cultured under light increased the production of several carotenoid-like compounds by upregulating two deinoxanthin biosynthesis genes: crtO and cruC. The deinoxanthin compounds were identified using thin-layer chromatography, high-performance liquid chromatography, and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. D. metallilatus was cultured with agricultural by-products under light to produce the deinoxanthin compounds. Soybean meal, from six tested agricultural by-products, was selected as the single factor for making an economical medium to produce deinoxanthin compounds. The growth of axenic M. aeruginosa PCC7806, as well as other xenic cyanobacteria such as Cyanobium gracile, Trichormus variabilis, and Dolichospermum circinale, were inhibited by the deinoxanthin compounds. Scanning electron microscopic images showed the complete collapse of M. aeruginosa cells under deinoxanthin treatment, probably due to its interference with cyanobacterial membrane synthesis during cellular elongation. Deinoxanthins appeared to be nontoxic to other non-cyanobacteria such as Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas, Methylobacterium, and Bacillus species, suggesting that it can be a novel candidate for preventing cyanobacterial blooms through its specific activity against cyanobacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111455
JournalEnvironmental Research
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sept

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the Korea University [ K2006821 ] and the National Institute of Biological Resources (NIBR) , funded by the Ministry of Environment (MOE) of the Republic of Korea [ NIBR202123201 ]. Two algal species (Chlorella vulgaris UTEX 2714 and Euglena gracilis strain Z) were provided by laboratory of biomass utilization at Korea University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Inc.


  • Agricultural by-product
  • Antibacterial compounds
  • Carotenoid
  • Deinoxanthin derivative
  • Pigment
  • Soybean meal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Environmental Science


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