Astaxanthin accumulation by green microalgae is a natural phenomenon known as red snows and blood rains. The fact that astaxanthin synthesis requires oxygen, NADPH and Fe2+ led Cunningham and Gantt [Annu. Rev. Plant Physiol. Plant Mol. Biol. 49 (1998) 557-583] to propose that a cytochrome P450-dependent enzyme might be involved in the transformation of β-carotene to astaxanthin. In Haematococcus only esterified astaxanthin molecules accumulate, but it is not determined whether a fatty acid synthesis should occur simultaneously to allow pigment accumulation. The aim of this contribution was to answer these two questions using specific inhibitors of β-carotene (norflurazon) and fatty acid (cerulenin) synthesis, and of cytochrome P450 enzyme activity (ellipticine). © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.
Schoefs, B., Rmiki, N. E., Rachadi, J., & Lemoine, Y. (2001). Astaxanthin accumulation in Haematococcus requires a cytochrome P450 hydroxylase and an active synthesis of fatty acids. FEBS Letters, 500(3), 125–128. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0014-5793(01)02596-0