Pigments in an iridescent bacterium, Cellulophaga fucicola, isolated from Antarctica
An iridescent yellow pigmented bacterium isolated from the Antarctic continent, named Cellulophaga fucicola strain 416, was found to be able to tolerate UV-B radiation. Its crude pigment extract was tested for antioxidant capacity, UV light stability and phototoxicity profile against murine fibroblast lines. The pigments were further isolated and chemically identified by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography with photodiode array and mass spectrometry detectors. The results showed that the pigment extract presented weak stability under exposure to UV light, a phototoxic profile in the 3t3 Neutral Red Uptake test and a very high antioxidant activity, suggesting that it could be used as food and feed colourants. Zeaxanthin and two isomers of zeaxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin and β-carotene, were identified using a C18 column. These five carotenoids were the major pigments isolated from C. fucicola 416. In conclusion, the identification of pigments produced by the bacterial strain under study may help us understand how bacteria thrive in high UV and cold environments, and opens avenues for further biotechnological application towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way of pigment exploitation.
KeywordsIridescent bacterium Cellulophaga fucicola Antioxidant Carotenoids Antarctic Pigments
We would like to thank the MycoAntar Project (CNPq), and the Brazilian Antarctic Program for making the sampling feasible in the OPERANTAR XXXIII (summer 2014/2015) and OPERANTAR XXXIV (summer 2015/2016).
RC-G and JE helped with the carotenoids identification. MVNR, FNdosS, MNE, helped with HPLC/MS interpretations. IAN-N and GMP performed the antioxidant tests. RSNT, HMD and LRGC performed the phototoxicity and photostability tests. LHR was the responsible for the Antarctica expedition, who made the sample collection feasible. VMO is the chief of laboratory.
This study was funded by São Paulo Research Foundation—FAPESP (Grant Nos. 2014/17936-1, 2016/05640-6, 2017/21790-0).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and animal rights
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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