University College London Featured PhD Programmes
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Featured PhD Programmes
Imperial College London Featured PhD Programmes
University of Sheffield Featured PhD Programmes
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (Heidelberg) Featured PhD Programmes

Production of carotenoids from Dunaliella salina: Process development with red-light for large scale production

Project Description

9-cis β-carotene has been implicated to play a central role in protecting against diseases including retinal dystrophies, chronic plaque psoriasis and atherosclerosis, and can be produced in high concentration by the halotolerant green microalga Dunaliella salina, especially in the presence of red light. D. salina is currently cultivated at industrial scale in either open pond raceways or photobioreactors but cost-effective systems for applying red light in cultivation for a reliable, low-cost production of 9-cis β-carotene need to be developed and tested.

A multidisciplinary research programme in algal biotechnology, supported by the departments of Science and Chemical Engineering, is available for research aimed at designing a sustainable method to produce valuable carotenoids, especially 9-cis β-carotene, in large-scale industrial microalgal cultivation facilities, based on light transformation in combination with micro-algal photosynthesis.

Models describing important parameters that control carotenoid productivity, based on measurement of the distribution of light intensity of different light wavelength within algal cultures, will be developed, then tested in different arrangements in photobioreactors and open pond raceways, from laboratory to pilot scale, in order to facilitate the delivery of a sustainable low-cost solution for producing 9-cis β-carotene at industrial scale.

Funding Notes

Bursary and contribution to tuition fees equivalent to the University's Home/EU rate

Year 1: £15,009 Year 2: In line with RCUK rate Year 3: In line with RCUK rate
The successful candidate will receive a contribution to tuition fees equivalent to the University’s Home/EU rate, currently £4,327, for the duration of their scholarship. International applicants will need to pay the remainder tuition fee for the duration of their scholarship, currently £9,173.


Related publications:
1. Xu Y, Harvey P. WO2019097219-Production of Dunaliella (2019, International filing date 13 November 2018).
2. Schroeder D, Harvey P, Xu Y. Patent WO/2018/141978 Algal strains (2018).
Published articles
1. Xu Y, Harvey P. Red Light Control of β-Carotene Isomerisation to 9-cis β-Carotene and Carotenoid Accumulation in Dunaliella salina. Antioxidants (2019) 8 (5), 148.
2. Weinrich T, Xu Y, Wosu C, Harvey P and Jeffery G. Mitochondrial function, mobility and lifespan are improved in Drosophila melanogaster by extracts of 9-cis β-carotene from Dunaliella salina. Marine Drugs (2019) 17 (5), 279.
3. Xu Y, Harvey P. Carotenoid production by Dunaliella salina under red light. Antioxidants (2019) 8(5), 123.
4. Xu Y, Ibrahim IM, Wosu CI, Ben-Amotz A, Harvey PJ. Potential of New Isolates of Dunaliella Salina for Natural β-carotene production. Biology (Basel) (2018) 7(1), 14.
5. Xu Y, Ibrahim IM, Harvey PJ. The influence of photoperiod and light intensity on the growth and photosynthesis of Dunaliella salina (chlorophyta) CCAP 19/30. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry (2016) 106, 305-315.

Email Now

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully

FindAPhD. Copyright 2005-2019
All rights reserved.