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Strain Engineering for Astaxanthin

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CD Biosynsis is committed to using genetic and metabolic engineering means combined with traditional breeding techniques to obtain high-yield engineered strains and achieve industrial production of astaxanthin through precise regulation of the fermentation process.


Astaxanthin, also known as astaxanthin, is a pigment widely found in fish, birds, shrimp, crabs, bacteria, fungi, and algae. Astaxanthin is a secondary carotenoid with great economic value. Astaxanthin has been shown to protect the skin from photodamage, as well as to prevent atherosclerosis and enhance immune system function. Astaxanthin also has a good coloring effect and is used in food and health food, pharmaceuticals, the feed industry, and cosmetics. Currently, astaxanthin is synthesized in four main ways. One is chemical synthesis, the second is the extraction from crustaceans, the third is the use of yeast production astaxanthin, and the fourth is the use of algae production. Astaxanthin is not synthesized in most higher plants and animals, so it can only be extracted from some seafood products, which is difficult to meet the commercial demand. Therefore, it is important to improve the yield of astaxanthin and to achieve astaxanthin production in higher plants.

Figure 1. Biosynthesis and chemical synthesis of Astaxanthin. (Wan X, et al., 2021)Figure 1. Biosynthesis and chemical synthesis of Astaxanthin. (Wan X, et al., 2021)

What We Provide

With the development of synthetic biology, we are able to use a variety of technologies to achieve large-scale production of microbial-derived natural astaxanthin to promote healthy farming, the food industry, and healthcare.

Genetic Engineering

We are able to help our customers select high-yielding strains using genetic engineering combined with traditional breeding techniques, and can genetically modify high-yielding strains to obtain higher yielding engineered strains.

Metabolic Engineering

We are able to increase astaxanthin production by reprogramming the microbial astaxanthin synthesis pathway through metabolic engineering.

Transcriptome Analysis

We are able to use transcriptome analysis to investigate the causes affecting microbial astaxanthin production and provide guidance for the modification of engineered strains.

Precision Fermentation

Based on our precision fermentation platform, we are able to help our customers optimize the astaxanthin fermentation process to achieve astaxanthin accumulation.


  • Efficient plant cell and microbial cell factories for astaxanthin production.
  • Astaxanthin.

How We Can Help

Development of Synthetic Biology Chassis for Astaxanthin Production

Astaxanthin is mainly found in organisms such as aquatic animals, algae, fungi, and bacteria. However, the yield of natural astaxanthin is low and its purity is poor. We are able to construct and optimize a microbial chassis for astaxanthin production with the help of synthetic biology techniques. The following is the chassis that has been used for the production of astaxanthin. Please contact us directly if you have other chassis of interest for astaxanthin production.

Euglena sanguinea kluveromyces marxianus Brevundimonas Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous Haematococcus pluvialis Phaffia rhodozyma Acetabularia mediterranea
Mycobacterium lactitol Agrobacterium aurantiacum Escherichia coli Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Corynebacterium glutamicum Candida utilis Yarrowia lipolytica Dunaliella viridis

Optimization of Culture Medium and Fermentation Process

Astaxanthin production is influenced by media components and fermentation conditions. We are able to assist our customers in the selection of carbon sources, nitrogen sources, organic acids, metal ions, and metabolic regulators that contribute to astaxanthin yield enhancement.

Improvement and Screening of Astaxanthin Producing Mutants

  • We are able to use both chemical and physical mutagenesis methods to initiate mutations in the strain. The strain mutagenesis methods that we can provide are listed below. Including but not limited to.
Ultraviolet light Radiation Ethyl methanesulfonate Nitrosoguanidine Atmospheric pressure room temperature plasma
  • We are able to introduce key genes of the astaxanthin synthesis pathway into the engineered strain, and we are also able to genetically improve the astaxanthin production strain through a series of strategies such as codon optimization, gene copy number adjustment, and variable splicing adjustment.
  • We can help our customers establish efficient and viable screening methods for mutagenesis-generated mutant libraries.

Applications of Astaxanthin

CD Biosynsis can develop tailored tools and customized approaches to harness the power of synthetic biology to drive astaxanthin production and meet the needs of customers in a variety of industries.

  • As a feed additive for crustaceans and poultry.
  • As a food additive.
  • As a premium health product.
  • Inhibits the inflammatory response to sepsis.
  • Used in the treatment of lung diseases.

Want to Learn More?

CD Biosynsis provides the most comprehensive and efficient solutions for synthetic biology workflows. We are committed to helping our customers solve all problems encountered in astaxanthin production to advance their applications in a wide range of fields. Each of our deliverables will undergo a rigorous quality inspection test to ensure the reliability and accuracy of the results. If you are interested in our services or have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.


  1. Wan X, et al. Reprogramming microorganisms for the biosynthesis of astaxanthin via metabolic engineering. Prog Lipid Res. 2021 Jan; 81: 101083.

Please note that all services are for research use only. Not intended for any clinical use.

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