Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Engineer Maize to Produce Astaxanthin

December 1, 2016

Scientists from Goethe University Frankfurt and partners developed genetically engineered maize to produce a carotenoid called astaxanthin, which is important in fish feeds. The astaxanthin from the GE maize was assessed if it could be used as a feed supplement to improve pigmentation of rainbow trout flesh. The initial preparation was too oily and the concentration was not enough leading the researchers to improve the preparation through a series of processing.

The improved anyaxanthin prepapration was tested in trout through feeding trials. Results of the trials showed that the pigmentation properties of the maize-produced astaxanthin incorporated to 3.5 µg/g dw in the trout fillet is similar to chemically synthesized astaxanthin. This implies that GE maize could be a good source of naturally produced astaxanthin for fish feed.

Read the research article in Transgenic Research.