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Pigments are intensely coloured compounds used in many industries to colour other materials. The demand for naturally synthesised pigments is increasing and their production can be incorporated into circular bioeconomy approaches. Natural pigments are produced by bacteria, cyanobacteria, microalgae, macroalgae, plants and animals. There is a huge unexplored biodiversity of prokaryotic cyanobacteria which are microscopic phototrophic microorganisms that have the ability to capture solar energy and CO2 and use it to synthesise a diverse range of sugars, lipids, amino acids and biochemicals including pigments. This makes them attractive for the sustainable production of a wide range of high-value products including industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and animal-feed supplements. The advantages of cyanobacteria production platforms include comparatively high growth rates, their ability to use freshwater, seawater or brackish water and the ability to cultivate them on non-arable land. The pigments derived from cyanobacteria and microalgae include chlorophylls, carotenoids and phycobiliproteins that have useful properties for advanced technical and commercial products. Development and optimisation of strain-specific pigment-based cultivation strategies support the development of economically feasible pigment biorefinery scenarios with enhanced pigment yields, quality and price. Thus, this chapter discusses the origin, properties, strain selection, production techniques and market opportunities of cyanobacterial pigments. © 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


Charu Deepika, Juliane Wolf, John Roles, Ian Ross, Ben Hankamer. Sustainable Production of Pigments from Cyanobacteria. Advances in biochemical engineering/biotechnology. 2023;183:171-251

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PMID: 36571616

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