Red Light Promotes Haematococcus Growth

Schematic diagram of the mechanism by which red light promotes autotrophic growth of algal cells. Credit: Li Lamei

A research group from Hefei Institutes of Physical Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has proven that red light can promote photoautotrophic growth of Haematococcus pluvialis (H. pluvialis) and studied the related carbon fixation mechanism. Their research results were published in Aquaculture.

H. pluvialis is a unicellular green alga that has been widely recognized for its ability to accumulate astaxanthin in large quantities and is currently also the best-established biological source of natural astaxanthin in nature.

Recent studies have shown that the use of appropriate combinations of red and white light can promote the growth of H. pluvialis and improve astaxanthin production, but the processes and mechanisms in which red light plays a role are not well understood.

A new method to promote the growth of Haematococcus

In this study headed up by of Prof. Huang Qing, researchers worked on a new method to promote the growth of Haematococcus pluvialis. After switching the illumination culture mode from white to red light in the late logarithmic phase of growth, researchers found that autotrophic growth of H. pluvialis was improved.

They also confirmed that red light could promote enhanced photosynthesis and increase CO₂ fixation rates by regulating the activity of carbonic anhydrases and maintaining the pH of the medium stable between 8 and 9.

“Our work can provide guidance for more efficient use of light during microalgal culture to achieve photoautotrophy and for potential practical applications in carbon neutralization,” said Li Lamei, first author of the paper.

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