Document Type: Research article
Department of Biology, Azarbaijan Shahid Madani University, Tabriz, Iran.
Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Golestan University, Gorgan, Iran.
Department of Food Biotechnology, Branch for Northwest & West region, Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Tabriz, Iran.
During recent years, there was growing demand in using microalga valuable products such as β-carotene in health care. β-Carotene has anti-cancer and anti-aging properties for human. In Dunaliella salina cells, β-carotene has a major protecting role for biomolecules, when the production of reactive oxygen species elevated. In the present study, we investigated the influence of the four most effective factors (light intensity, temperature, nitrate and salinity concentration) and their interactions on the β-carotene production and the total chlorophyll/β-carotene ratio in low light adapted D. salina cells. Box-Benken design and response surface methodology (RSM) was used for this purpose and optimization of the factor levels. Two models were developed to explain how β-carotene productivity and the total chlorophyll/β-carotene ratio depend on the stress factors. Among the four stress variables for β-carotene production, light intensity was stronger than the others. Meanwhile, interaction between light intensity and salt concentration exhibited the most important effect on the total chlorophyll/ β-carotene ratio. The predicted optimal conditions for maximum β-carotene productivity and minimum total chlorophyll/β-carotene ratio were derived from the fitted model in 200 µmol photons m-2s-1 light intensity, 25ºC, 0.9 mM nitrate and 3.8 M NaCl. When the predicted condition was tested experimentally, the close results were captured. This suggests that overproduction of β-carotene in D. salina under certain conditions depends on used light intensity for preadaptation. The step-wise manner applying of stresses may act as a benefit strategy to β-carotene overproduction.