Table of Contents
Advances in Biology
Volume 2014, Article ID 837891, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/837891
Review Article

Colorful World of Microbes: Carotenoids and Their Applications

1Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Banasthali University, Jaipur, Rajasthan 304022, India
2Biotechnology Division, Defence Research and Development Establishment, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh 474012, India
3Biochemical Engineering Department, BT Kumaon Institute of Technology, Dwarahat, Uttarakhand 263653, India

Received 26 January 2014; Revised 2 March 2014; Accepted 4 March 2014; Published 13 April 2014

Academic Editor: Akikazu Sakudo

Copyright © 2014 Kushwaha Kirti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Microbial cells accumulate pigments under certain culture conditions, which have very important industrial applications. Microorganisms can serve as sources of carotenoids, the most widespread group of naturally occurring pigments. More than 750 structurally different yellow, orange, and red colored molecules are found in both eukaryotes and prokaryotes with an estimated market of $ 919 million by 2015. Carotenoids protect cells against photooxidative damage and hence found important applications in environment, food and nutrition, disease control, and as potent antimicrobial agents. In addition to many research advances, this paper reviews concerns with recent evaluations, applications of microbial pigments, and recommendations for future researches with an understanding of evolution and biosynthetic pathways along with other relevant aspects.