International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences
ISSN: 2319-7706 Volume 2 Number 9 (2013) pp. 89-97
Biotechnological applications of cyanobacterial phycobiliproteins
V.D. Pandey*, Anita Pandey and Vibhu Sharma
Department of Botany, Government Post-Graduate College Rishikesh-249201(Uttarakhand), India *Corresponding author e-mail:
Cyanobacteria, a group of morphologically diverse and widely distributed photosynthetic prokaryotes, produce phycobiliproteins as accessory photosynthetic pigments, constituting important components of light-harvesting complexes of photosynthetic machinery in these organisms. Phycobiliproteins are water-soluble, brilliantly coloured and highly fluorescent protein-pigment complexes which include phycocyanin (PC, blue pigment), allophycocyanin (APC, bluish-green pigment) and phycoerythrin (PE, red pigment). Commercially, they are high-value natural products with actual and/or potential biotechnological applications in nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals, food and cosmetic industries as well as in biomedical research and clinical diagnostics. Specially, the use of phycobiliproteins as non-toxic and non-carcinogenic natural food colorants is gaining importance worldwide in view of the potential toxicity and carcinogenicity of the synthetic food colorants.
Cyanobacteria; Phyco- biliproteins; Phycocyanin; Allophyco- cyanin; Phycoerythrin; Food colorants; Pharmacological activities.