[ad#PhycoBiosciences AIM Interview]

Research

Brown algae’s antioxidant properties investigated

September 12, 2013
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Ectocarpus siliculosus growing on the marine plant Zostera  © Akira Peters, Station Biologique Roscoff

Ectocarpus siliculosus growing on the marine plant Zostera
© Akira Peters, Station Biologique Roscoff

Brown algae contain phlorotannins, aromatic (phenolic) compounds that are unique in the plant kingdom. As natural antioxidants, phlorotannins are of great interest for the treament and prevention of cancer and inflammatory, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.

Researchers at France’s Végétaux marins et biomolécules (CNRS/UPMC) laboratory at the Station biologique de Roscoff, in collaboration with two colleagues at the Laboratoire des sciences de l’Environnement MARin (Laboratory of Marine Environment Sciences) in Brest (CNRS/UBO/IFREMER/IRD) have recently described the key step in the production of these compounds in Ectocarpus siliculosus, a small brown alga model species. The study also revealed the specific mechanism of an enzyme that synthesizes phenolic compounds with commercial applications.

These findings have been patented and should make it easier to produce the phlorotannins presently used as natural extracts in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. The results have also been published online on the site of the journal The Plant Cell (“Structure/Function Analysis of a Type III Polyketide Synthase in the Brown Alga Ectocarpus siliculosus Reveals a Biochemical Pathway in Phlorotannin Monomer Biosynthesis”).

Until now, extracting phlorotannins from brown algae for use in industry was a complex process, and the biosynthesis pathways of these compounds were unknown. By studying the first genome sequenced from a brown alga, the team in Roscoff identified several genes homologous to those involved in phenolic compound biosynthesis in terrestrial plants.

Among these genes, the researchers found that at least one was directly involved in the synthesis of phlorotannins in brown algae. They then inserted these genes into a bacterium, which thus produced a large quantity of the enzymes that could synthesize the desired phenolic compounds.

One of these enzymes, a type III polyketide synthase (PKS III), was studied in detail and revealed how it produces phenolic compounds. PKS III is able, for example, to synthesize phloroglucinol (notably used in antispasmodic drugs and in explosives) and other phenolic compounds with commercial applications.

Besides this mechanism, results revealed that the compounds had other biological functions in the acclimation and adaptation of brown algae to salinity stress. Knowledge of these biosynthesis pathways would allow researchers to uncover the signaling mechanisms that regulate this metabolism. It would also be useful for understanding the biological and ecological functions of these compounds in other brown algae that are already used commercially.

Read More

More Like This…

HOME Algae Industry Jobs

Copyright ©2010-2013 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission required to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
Iran-based Qeshm Microalgae Biorefinery Co. (QMAB) has launched a biofuel being marketed as BAYA®, produced from a species of Nannochloropsis (strain 6016) isolated from ...
Allan Koay writes in thestar.com about a Universiti Malaya research project paving the way for the commercial production of paper pulp and bioethanol from seaweed. The Al...
James Goodman writes in the democratandchronicle.com about Jeffrey Lodge, an associate professor of biological sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology, who knows wh...
Montague, Prince Edward Island-based Solarvest has announced that it has used its algal-based production platform to express bioactive therapeutic proteins. The proof of ...
Simris Alg, a pioneering agribusiness producing omega-3 from farmed algae, has been declared one of Sweden’s 33 hottest companies in new technology. The renowned list is ...
The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) has named Solazyme CEO and co-founder Jonathan S. Wolfson as the recipient of its 2015 George Washington Carver Award for in...
Melissae Fellet reports in Chemical & Engineering News that new materials containing ultraviolet-absorbing molecules found in algae and reef-fish mucus could serve as...
Algae producers moving from pilot to commercial applications require quick adaptation to algae harvesting capacity of hundreds and even thousands of cubic meters per day....
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates over 200 million people worldwide are exposed to arsenic concentrations in drinking water that exceed the guideline limit of...
Jason Holland writes in SeafoodSounce.com that the ability of marine and freshwater algae to produce omega-3 oils makes them increasingly suitable for replacing price vol...
In New Zealand is an internationally significant collection of microalgae cultures known as the Cawthron Institute Culture Collection of Microalgae (CICCM). The CICCM was...
Karen Phillips writes for deeperblue.com that algae are the alveoli in the ocean lungs of our planet, vitally important to the health of the seas as home, food source, sa...