A simple method for rapid purification of phycobiliproteins from Arthrospira platensis and Porphyridium cruentum biomass
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Membrane chromatography was exploited to purify allophycocyanin, phycocyanin and B-phycoerythrin from aqueous extracts of fresh or freeze-dried biomass of Arthrospira platensis (Cyanobacteria) and Porphyridium cruentum (Rhodophyta). The method can be tuned to obtain products having various degree of purity and avoids expensive and time consuming column chromatography and ultrafiltration steps. A commercial polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) microfiltration membrane (hydrophilic and low protein binding) was used as an ammonium sulphate responsive stationary phase to carry out the purification process. Analytical grade purity was achieved for phycocyanin (purity = 4.2–4.5, yield = 75–82 %) and B-phycoerythrin (purity = 4.5–4.8, yield = 69–71 %). Good purification, even if lower than analytical grade, was achieved for allophycocyanin (purity = 3.3–3.7, yield = 42–47%).