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
As of March 1, 2015, bbi-biotech GmbH, of Berlin, Germany, has begun integrating IGV Biotech GmbH’s photobioreactors into its own life science product portfolio. A former...
Hammenhög, Sweden-based agribusiness Simris Alg has announced the launch of its first consumer products. The algae farmers’ exclusive omega-3 supplements and superfoods w...
Cellana, Inc., with operations in San Diego and Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, has announced that David Anton, Ph.D., has been appointed Chief Operating Officer and elected to the ...
Brian Krassenstein, writing in 3Dprint.com, goes deeper into the recent paper in Engineering in Life Sciences journal discussing the impact 3D bioprinting will have in th...
Jeff Gelski writes in foodbusinessnews.net that algae oil is now in the toolbox of alternative oils shown to replace partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), which cause trans...
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is developing an early warning indicator system using historical and current satellite data to detect algal blooms. EPA res...
Algae “red tide” events often create dazzling nighttime light shows of blue-green bioluminescence resulting from the force generated by breaking waves. While many mysteri...
SciDev.Net’s South Asia desk reports that Indian scientists working on producing biofuel from algae cultured in municipal wastewater are enthused by the findings of a rec...
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...
Rich McEachran writes in the Guardian that, in the process of surfacing a road, layers of asphalt – which is composed mostly of bitumen (a byproduct of crude oil distilla...
The fully automated plant at the Fraunhofer Center for Chemical-Biotechnological Processes CBP in Leuna, Germany, was designed to produce microalgae at industrial scale. ...
Joule has announced the issuance of a patent on the direct, continuous production of hydrocarbon fuels — extending its ability to target the highest-value molecules of th...
Earthrise Nutritionals, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo, Japan’s DIC Corporation, is on schedule to complete construction in August, 2015, of a new extraction plant fo...
Jessie Rack reports for NPR that demand for plant protein of all types is growing in concert with the growing interest in the U.S. to reduce meat consumption. People, fro...
The Asahi Shimbun reports that an experimental facility to produce oil from algae was constructed on former farmland that was abandoned after the March 2011 Great East Ja...