Genome-Based Insights Into The Production Of Carotenoids By Antarctic Bacteria, Planococcus Sp. ANT_H30 And Rhodococcus Sp. ANT_H53B
Antarctic regions are characterized by low temperatures and strong UV radiation. This harsh environment is inhabited by psychrophilic and psychrotolerant organisms, which have developed several adaptive features. In this study, we analyzed two Antarctic bacterial strains, Planococcus sp. ANT_H30 and Rhodococcus sp. ANT_H53B. The physiological analysis of these strains revealed their potential to produce various biotechnologically valuable secondary metabolites, including surfactants, siderophores, and orange pigments. The genomic characterization of ANT_H30 and ANT_H53B allowed the identification of genes responsible for the production of carotenoids and the in silico reconstruction of the pigment biosynthesis pathways. The complex manual annotation of the bacterial genomes revealed the metabolic potential to degrade a wide variety of compounds, including xenobiotics and waste materials. Carotenoids produced by these bacteria were analyzed chromatographically, and we proved their activity as scavengers of free radicals. The quantity of crude carotenoid extracts produced at two temperatures using various media was also determined. This was a step toward the optimization of carotenoid production by Antarctic bacteria on a larger scale.