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Seasonal and spatial variation in biochemical composition of Saccharina latissima during a potential harvesting season for Western Sweden

Journal article
Authors Jenny Veide Vilg
Göran M. Nylund
Tony Werner
Linnea Qvirist
Joshua Mayers
Henrik Pavia
Ingrid Undeland
Eva Albers
Published in Botanica Marina
Volume 58
Issue 6
Pages 435-447
ISSN 0006-8055
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Tjärnö Marine Biological Laboratory
Pages 435-447
Language en
Keywords Saccharina, seaweed, biomass composition, seasonal variation
Subject categories Food Science, Fish and Aquacultural Science, Plant Biotechnology


This study monitored the biomass composition of Saccharina latissima during a potential harvesting season on the West coast of Sweden, in order to find suitable harvest times for biorefinery purposes. Specimens of S. latissima were sampled at three locations in June, August and October and the biomass was analysed for its macromolecular composition, as well as for the content of several specific compounds, e.g. sugars and fatty acids. PERMANOVA analyses showed that there was a significant difference in the biomass composition among time points. The total carbohydrate concentration was lowest in June and peaked at 360 mg g-1 dry weight in August, while the mannitol content was highest, 90 mg g-1, in June and decreased throughout the sampling period. Total protein and fatty acid concentrations were found to be approximately 80 and 3 mg g-1, respectively, with relatively little variation over time. Overall, there was little spatial variation in the macromolecular composition, although the concentration of some specific monosaccharides and fatty acids, as well as the total phenolic content, differed among localities. We discuss the implications of the observed variation in biomass composition of S. latissima for future biorefinery purposes.

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