Production of antioxidant vitamins, β-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E, by two-step culture of Euglena gracilis Z

Haruko Takeyama, Akihisa Kanamaru, Yuko Yoshino, Hiroyuki Kakuta, Yoshiya Kawamura, Tadashi Matsunaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

63 Citations (Scopus)


Euglena gracilis Z is one of the few microorganisms which simultaneously produces antioxidant vitamins such as β-carotene and vitamins C and E. Photoheterotrophically cultured E. gracilis Z produced larger levels of biomass but with a lower content of antioxidant vitamins than photoautotrophically grown cultures. For efficient production of these vitamins, a two-step culture was performed. Cells were grown photoheterotrophically and then transferred to photoautotrophic conditions. When E. gracilis Z cells were grown in fed-batch culture under photoheterotrophic conditions, their density reached 19 g/L after 145 h. Subsequent transfer of these cells to photoautotrophic conditions increased vitamin content, enhancing the total vitamin yields, which were 71.0 mg/L of β-carotene, 30.1 mg/L of vitamin E, and 86.5 mg/L of vitamin C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-190
Number of pages6
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1997 Jan 20
Externally publishedYes



  • β-carotene
  • antioxidant vitamins
  • Euglena gracilis
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Microbiology

Cite this