, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 359–366 | Cite as

Effects of nicotine on the biosynthesis of carotenoids in halophilic Archaea (class Halobacteria): an HPLC and Raman spectroscopy study

  • Aharon OrenEmail author
  • Joseph Hirschberg
  • Varda Mann
  • Jan Jehlička
Original Paper


Nicotine has a profound influence on the carotenoid metabolism in halophilic Archaea of the class Halobacteria. In a study of Halobacterium salinarum, Haloarcula marismortui and Halorubrum sodomense, using different analytical techniques to monitor the production of different carotenoids as a function of the presence of nicotine, we showed that the formation of α-bacterioruberin was inhibited in all. In Hbt. salinarum, addition of nicotine led to a significant change in the color of the culture due to the accumulation of lycopene, in addition to the formation of bisanhydrobacterioruberin which does not differ in color from α-bacterioruberin. Very little or no lycopene was formed in Har. marismortui and in Hrr. sodomense; instead bisanhydrobacterioruberin was the only major carotenoid found in nicotine-amended cultures. The findings are discussed in the framework of the recently elucidated biochemical pathway for the formation of the different carotenoid pigments encountered in the Halobacteria.


Haloarchaea Carotenoids Bacterioruberin Nicotine 



We thank Lily Mana for technical assistance. AO was supported by Grant no. 2221/15 from the Israel Science Foundation. This study was further supported by the Erasmus+ inter-institutional agreement between the Charles University, Prague, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. JJ was funded by the Czech Science Foundation Project 17-04270S. Work in the laboratory of JH is funded by Israel Science Foundation Grant ISF 850/13.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aharon Oren
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joseph Hirschberg
    • 2
  • Varda Mann
    • 2
  • Jan Jehlička
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Alexander Silberman Institute of Life SciencesThe Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Genetics, Alexander Silberman Institute of Life SciencesThe Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael
  3. 3.Institute of Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Mineral ResourcesCharles UniversityPragueCzech Republic

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