Uncovering the Bioactivity of Aurantiochytrium sp.: a Comparison of Extraction Methodologies


Aurantiochytrium sp. is an emerging alternative source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and squalene, playing an important role in the phasing out of traditional fish sources for these compounds. Novel lipid extraction techniques with a focus on sustainability and low environmental footprint are being developed for this organism, but the exploration of other added-value compounds within it is still very limited. In this work, a combination of novel green extraction techniques (high hydrostatic pressure extraction (HPE) and supercritical fluid extraction (SFE)) and traditional techniques (organic solvent Soxhlet extraction and hydrodistillation (HD)) was used to obtain lipophilic extracts of Aurantiochytrium sp., which were then screened for antioxidant (DPPH radical reduction capacity and ferric-reducing antioxidant potential (FRAP) assays), lipid oxidation protection, antimicrobial, anti-aging enzyme inhibition (collagenase, elastase and hyaluronidase), and anti-inflammatory (inhibition of NO production) activities. The screening revealed promising extracts in nearly all categories of biological activity tested, with only the enzymatic inhibition being low in all extracts. Powerful lipid oxidation protection and anti-inflammatory activity were observed in most SFE samples. Ethanolic HPEs inhibited both lipid oxidation reactions and microbial growth. The HD extract demonstrated high antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory activities making, it a major contender for further studies aiming at the valorization of Aurantiochytrium sp. Taken together, this study presents compelling evidence of the bioactive potential of Aurantiochytrium sp. and encourages further exploration of its composition and application.



subject category

Biotechnology & Applied Microbiology; Marine & Freshwater Biology


Reboleira, J; Felix, R; Vicente, TFL; Januario, AP; Felix, C; de Melo, MMR; Silva, CM; Ribeiro, AC; Saraiva, JA; Bandarra, NM; Sapatinha, M; Paulo, MC; Coutinho, J; Lemos, MFL

our authors


This study had the support of Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia (FCT) through the Strategic Project UID/MAR/04292/2020 to MARE, UIDB/50011/2020 & UIDP/50011/2020 to CICECO, and the University of Aveiro and FCT/MCT for the financial support for LAQV-REQUIMTE research Unit (FCT UIDB/50006/2020) through national founds, and, where applicable, co-financed by the FEDER, within the PT2020 Partnership Agreement. This work was also funded by the project Valorizacao dos subprodutos do processo biotecnologico de producao de esqualeno e DHA pela microalga Aurantiochytrium sp. (AlgaValue) (POCI-01-0247-FEDER-017680) supported by COMPETE 2020, and Integrated Programme of SR&TD SmartBioR (reference Centro-01-0145-FEDER-000018) cofunded by Centro 2020 program, Portugal2020, European Union, through the European Regional Development Fund. The authors also thank the funding from Project AgroForWealth (CENTRO-01-0145-FEDER-000001), funded by Centro2020, through FEDER and PT2020 and University of Aveiro.

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